Sunday, November 30, 2014

Save a Dying Agave Plant

The most likely causes of a dying agave plant (Agave spp.) for homeowners are its growing conditions. Agave is often grown indoors where its growing conditions can be controlled, but it is also grown in outdoor gardens in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. Agave plants that lack the sunlight they need, proper soil drainage, and are suffering from overwatering can easily become infested with fungus and pests.

Growing Conditions

Agave needs full sun, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Watering should be minimal. Because they are desert plants, agaves planted outdoors and in the ground rarely need water, except in extreme drought conditions. When the outdoor temperatures rise above 100 F, provide agaves with 1 gallon of water per hour for 2 to 4 hours through drip irrigation once a week. Indoor and outdoor potted agave plants should be watered only when the top inch of soil is dry. Provide enough water to the soil to make the soil moist. Plants also require fast draining soil because if it does not drain quickly it can cause the agave to rot and die. Potted agave needs to be planted in cactus soil available at most nursery stores. For agaves planted in the ground, add up to 25 percent pumice to the surrounding soil to create proper drainage. Avoid adding fresh or un-composted manure to the soil because its high salt content will damage the agave’s root development.

Fungus

Anthracnose is a disease that affects agave plants. It’s caused by a fungus that occurs when an agave is overwatered and grown in damp conditions with not enough sunlight. The fungus is identified by the lesions it causes on the leaves and the orange to red spores found within these lesions. To save an infected agave plant, remove all leaves showing lesions and spores. Properly dispose of the leave and avoid overhead watering. Water the soil only when needed.

Soft Scale

A common pest of the agave plant is called soft scale (Coccid species). These small scale insects attack stressed plants by attaching themselves to the leaves and sucking out the plant’s juices. To get rid of them, separate the infected agave from other plants and begin nurturing the plant back to health with proper watering, sunlight and soil drainage. If the infection is severe, treat the infect plant with imidacloprid found in 2-in-1 Plant Spikes by Bayer Advanced Garden. A spike is pushed into the soil and as the imidacloprid is released into the soil, the agave takes in the pest control and kills the scale bugs that are feeding on the leaves.

Death After Flowering

It is natural for most varieties of agave to die after flowering. Some of the agave varieties will produce offspring from the base of the plant to replace itself after expiring. The Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana) produces offspring on its flower stalk which are removed and replanted. It takes the agave about 10 years before it produces a flower and many times, agaves that are grown as indoor houseplants will not flower.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What is Sedge Grass?

Sedge (Cyperaceae) is commonly confused with grass (Gramineae), although they both belong to different families. Lumped in with ornamental grasses, sedge has grass-like appearances and is often used in natural landscaping. There are many distinct differences between sedge and grass that identifying sedge is easy when you know what to look for.

Identifying Sedge

Learning to identify sedge from grass is fairly easy. Inspecting the stem will tell you whether the plant is a sedge or a grass. Unlike grass stems that are hollow inside, sedge stems are triangular and solid inside. Also, sedge has no nodes or joints along its stem like grass does. While different types of grasses can be annuals or perennials, sedges are mostly perennials and will live for two or more years.

Uses

Like grass, sedge can be grown to control erosion and it is planted at sites where the ground has been disturbed from mining. It is also used in meadow restoration projects. Many home gardeners grow sedge as an ornamental grass for both its beauty and to provide wildlife with food.

Growing Conditions

Sedges are fairly versatile and adaptable, which is what makes a favorite plant for gardeners. Planted in the spring so that it can become established before the winter months, most sedge prefers to grow in moist or wet soil. Unlike grass, sedge does not need full sun to grow healthily.

Sedges in Gardens

Sedge needs very little care and maintenance. It can be grown in poor soils where other plants are unable to grow. Gardeners plant sedge to provide accents and to create grass barriers along walls or pathways. In the fall, sedge dries up like other ornamental grasses and can add character to the landscape. The sedge is usually cut down after it has dried to prevent a fire hazard, although some gardeners harvest the dried sedge to use for indoor decorating the same way as some people decorate with dried grasses.

Friday, November 28, 2014

How to Clear Thorn Bushes

Clearing out thorn bushes is a tedious task that requires up to two years of work. Tilling is a common method that works best at removing thorn bushes more efficiently than burning. Mowing is also a great method to get rid of thorn bushes, but you will need to keep the are mowed on a monthly basis for two years. Pulling the thorn bushes out of the ground is another way to get rid of thorn bushes, but you will need to wear a good layer of protective clothing to prevent getting scratched by the thorns.

Tilling

Tilling the ground is one of the best methods for combating thorn bushes. The first step is to cut down the tops of the bushes, cutting them down as close to the ground as you can safely get them. A Rototiller can be used to clean a small area. If the thorn bushes have taken over a larger area, contact local farmers and ask them how much they charge to till your land. The ground should be tilled several times in a growing season, from May to October, to remove the bushes and to prevent regrowth.

Mowing

Mowing is less effective than tilling, but it can eventually clear up a thorn bush problem. After the thorn bushes have been cut down to the ground, the area should be mowed each month from May to October. Keeping the thorn bushes mowed down allows other ground cover to take hold, such as grass. (Ref 2) After 2 consecutive years of mowing, the thorn bushes should die off.

Burning

Burning large thorn bushes is a fire hazard and it releases greenhouse gases into the air. It may also require a permit in some areas so ask your local fire department first before burning any brush. While burning a thorn bush gets rid of the over brush, it is not a long term strategy for removing thorn bushes. The roots will survive the burning and shoot up new plants. To prevent the bush from returning, the area should be tilled or mowed each month, from May to October, for two years.

Pulling and Covering

Another method for removing thorn bushes is to pull and cover. Wearing heavy gloves and clothing, cut the canes or branches of the bush back so that you can get to the base of the bush. Dig or pull up the bushes. The best way to pull up a thorn bush is to use a weed wench so that your hands are safe from getting punctured by the thorns. To prevent regrowth, cover the area with cardboard or a layer of newspaper (six to nine sheets thick) and top it with several inches of mulch or sawdust. Keep the area covered for two years to prevent the thorn bush from growing back.

Goats

Goats are often used on homesteads to clear away large areas of plants, including thorn bushes. One of the major benefits to using goats is that they eat poison oak. While using goats is environmentally friendly, they do need to be cared for and should only be considered if you have a large plot of land. For clearing land, three to five goats are recommended per acre.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Do Nectarines Turn Brown?

Nectarines (Prunus persica) turn brown because of rot. There are many different ways rot, called brown rot, can set into nectarines. The fruit, grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 - 8, can develop brown rot while growing on trees. Frost, storage and handling is also a major factor in whether or not nectarines will turn brown.

Brown Rot

Brown rot is caused by a fungus disease that can affect stone fruits while they are still growing on the trees. On the Pacific coast, the fungus is called Monilinia laxa, a European form of brown rot. The infected nectarines form brown spots that rapidly expand over the entire fruit, causing the nectarines to rot on the branches 1 to 3 weeks before they are ready to harvest.

Frost and Freezing

The whole fruit, whether it is on the tree or picked, is negatively affected by frost and freezing. Freezing occurs at temperatures below 32 F and causes the fruit’s skin and fibers to break down. After thawing, the overly soft to mushy nectarine will turn brown from rot.

Storage

Nectarines are highly perishable and will only last a few days to up to two weeks after they are picked. To prevent immediate rotting, store the fruit in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator at temperatures of 32 F to 40 F. Immediately use fruit that is bruised or punctured because it will begin to rot while in storage.

Bruising

Rough and careless handling can cause nectarines to bruise. Bruise spots on nectarines are highly susceptible to brown rot because the fruit’s skin is damaged and the fungus can more easily attack the fruit. Bruised fruit should be eaten immediately. If the fruit is far too bruised to eat, dispose of it immediately so that it does not infect any other nectarines.

Browning After Cutting

Many fruits including nectarines, begin to turn brown after being cut open. To prevent browning, eat the fruit immediately after cutting. If you are preparing nectarines for canning or freezing, drop the peeled, sliced fruit into a bowl containing 1 gallon water mixed with either one teaspoon ascorbic acid crystals or six crushed 500 milligram vitamin C tablets.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How to Harvest Cranberries

Native to North America, cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) are produced on low growing vines that are found growing in USDA Hardiness Zones 2-6. Commercial production of cranberries did not being until the 1820s when Henry Hall, a Revolutionary War veteran, began growing the berries in a pasture and shipping the berries for consumption along the northeast coast of the United States. These early berries were hand picked until the invention of water harvesting in the 1940s.

When to Harvest

Cranberries are ready to be picked when the berries are dark red and, when the berries are opened, the seeds inside them are brown. The berries will be slightly soft to the touch. Cranberries must be harvested before the first frost because they do not tolerate temperatures below 30 F. 

Hand Picked

Handpicking cranberries is also called dry harvesting. The cranberries are hand picked off of the plants and placed into containers. This method is mostly used by growers who sell whole berries at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. It is also the most economical method for small, home growers who want the choicest berries for personal use.

Water Harvesting

Water harvesting, also called wet harvesting, is a popular method of harvesting cranberries used by major producers. The cranberry beds are flooded and, by agitating the water, the berries loosen from the plants and float to the top of the water. Wet harvested cranberries are often bruised and contain rot spores. They are not sold whole to the public. Instead, these berries are used for making cranberry products, such as juices and jelly.

Protecting Plants After Harvest


After the berries have been harvested, it is time to prepare your plants for winter. Cranberry plants are evergreens. They need moisture during the cold, winter months. To prevent the ground from freezing and drying up the leaves, cover cranberry plants with mulch made from either pine needles or tree leaves. In April, uncover the plants during the days and cover them back up at night until the threat of spring frost is no longer a problem. With proper care, cranberry plants can live up to 100 years or longer.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fast Growing Vegetables

Growing your own food quickly and inexpensively can be done with many of the same vegetables you see in the grocery store. Radishes, for instance, take as little as three weeks to grow and can be planted in a single row in small gardens. Zucchinis are another fast crop that begin producing in as little as 35 days. Many vegetables will continue to produce after the plants have reached maturity, such as bush beans and leaf lettuce. With just a few rows of plants, you can produce a summer’s worth of healthy foods for you and your family.

Root Vegetables

Radishes (Raphanus sativus) are harvested three to five weeks after planting and are one of the fastest growing root vegetables for home gardeners. Baby spike, a type of baby carrot (Daucus carota), matures in only 52 days. Turnips (Brassica rapa) can be harvested at 60 days. The turnip greens can also be harvested along with the root. Beets (Beta vulgaris) mature in 55 to 70 days, but beets can be harvest at 40 days maturity. These “baby” beets are tender and sweet, and are prepared the same way as fully mature beets.

Leaf Vegetables

The wonderful thing about leaf vegetables is that after the plants have reached maturity, you can continuously harvest the leaves until the end of the growing season. Leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa) takes only 40 days to reach maturity. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) takes 45 days to reach maturity. Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala) takes up to 60 days to reach maturity.

Beans and Peas

Bean and pea plants continue to flower and produce more pods after each harvest, making them a great addition to the garden for a continuous supply of fresh food. Bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), also called snap beans or string beans, are grown in USDA zones 3-10. The beans take 57 days to reach maturity. Daybreak, an early spring pea (Pisum sativum), can be harvest as little as 54 days after planting.

Cucumbers and Zucchinis

Cucumber and zucchini plants produce a bountiful harvest that will need to be picked every few days after the plant has reached maturity. Cucumbers (Cucumis Sativus) take 50 to 70 days to reach maturity. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) reaches maturity much sooner than cucumbers. Being a summer squash with a fast growth rate, zucchini reaches maturity in 35 to 55 days.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Treatments for Leaves on Rose Garden Plants

Different diseases can attack the leaves of rose plants, but most of these diseases, such as powdery mildew and rust, can be prevented with proper watering and pruning. Rose plants require one inch of water every week and should be watered at the base of the plant. Spraying water over the entire plant encourages disease problems. Deadheading, the removal of dead rose blooms, also helps prevent leaf diseases. Diseases and larvae can hide within the dead blooms and infect the rest of the plant.

Pests

Aphids, red spider mites, spittle bugs, and rose slugs are a few of the pest that can infect a rose plant. Most of these pests, such as spittle bugs, can be removed simply by hosing down the leaves and knocking off the insects. Aphids can be removed by spraying the rose plants with hose water and misting the leaves with an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil made specifically for roses. Rose slugs are the larvae of the sawfly that eat holes in the leaves of the rose plant. To get rid of rose slugs, spray the tops and undersides of the leaves with an insecticidal soap for roses containing Pyrethrins.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew covers the leaves of the rose plant with a white powder. It rarely kills rose plants, but it will affect the leaves and blooms. To treat, mix two tablespoons horticulture oil into one gallon of water and spray the entire plant. To prevent the mildew from returning, spray the leaves every ten days during the growing season.

Black Spots

Black spots on rose plant leaves are a fungal disease caused by either black spot or Cercospora leafspot. The fungal disease is brought on by warm, wet weather and can cause the rose plant to die. Begin treatment by removing any leaves that show black spots. Thin out remaining leaves to allow the plant more light and air circulation. Remove all the debris from under the plant and add a one inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant to protect it from fungal spores in the dirt. In severe cases, all the leaves may need to be removed. To encourage new growth, give the rose plant a weekly feeding of fish emulsion fertilizer made for house and garden plants.

Rust

Rust is an orange-red fungus that grows on rose leaves. Sanitation is the key to getting rid of this fungus. To treat, remove and dispose of any leaves that show signs of rust. Remove all leaves that are within 18 inches of the ground to prevent further infection. Increase air circulation and sunlight by thinning out the leaves on the plant. Keep the plant free from all ground debris. Add an inch of fresh mulch around the plant and replace it every three months to prevent reinfection.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fruits that Don’t Ripen After Being Picked

It is common for commercial growers to pick fruit before it is fully ripe and treat it with chemicals for preservation until it reaches its destination. In some cases, this can mean your fruit has traveled over 1,500 miles to reach you. Locally grown fruit is less likely to be picked before maturity because of the shorter distance the fruit needs to travel to reach local customers. Of course, home growers have the luxury of picking fruit when it is at its peak maturity and sweetness.

Apples

Apple trees (Malus domestica), grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture Zones 4 - 9, need to be fully mature when picked. Apples picked before reaching maturity will not continue to ripen. To determine the maturity of an apple, examine the color of the skin. Immature green apples start off bright green and turn a lighter green when mature. For red apples, examine the color of the skin on the stem. As the apple matures, the stem color will change from bright green to light green and then to yellow. You can also cut open an apple to determine the maturity of the fruit. As the apple matures, the seeds’ coats turn dark brown. Tasting the apple is the easiest way to determine the maturity of the apple. Immature apples will taste slightly starchy while mature apples will be sweet.

Citrus

Citrus fruits, USDA zones 9 - 11, do not ripen after they are picked. Oranges (Citrus x aurantium), tangerines (Citrus reticulata), lemons (Citrus x limon), limes (Citrus x aurantiifolia), and grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) are picked when they are ripe and ready to eat. The easiest way to determine ripeness is to taste test the fruit. Unlike temperate zone fruits, citrus fruits can be left on the tree one to two months after they are ripe and the fruit will become sweeter.

Berries and Grapes

Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) and blackberries (Rubus fruticosis) are grown in USDA zones 5 - 7. When picked before turning ripe they are sour and will not reach full sweetness. Strawberries, blueberries, and grapes all grow within USDA zones 3 - 10. Strawberries (Fragaria F. x ananassa) will continue to turn red but they will not get sweeter after they are picked. For blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium and Vaccinium corymbosum) to reach maximum sweetness, pick them three to four days after they have turned blue. Blueberries that are still tinged with red will not continue to ripen after they are picked. Harvest grapes (Vitis labrusca and Vitis vinifera) only when they are ripe because their flavor will not improve after they are picked. The easiest way to test for ripeness is to taste a grape for sweetness.

Cherries and Apricots


Cherries (Prunus P. cerasus and Prunus P. avium), grown in USDA zones 4 - 9, are harvested as soon as they become ripe. They are ready to be picked when the cherries are slightly soft. Tasting them is a quick indicator as to the ripeness of the fruit. Apricots (Prunus armeniaca), USDA zones 4 - 8, can only be picked when they are ripe. If they are picked before becoming soft and ripe, the fruit will shrivel up and be inedible.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Can Tomatoes

Canning whole tomatoes gives home cooks a wide variety of ways to use them. Whole canned tomatoes can later be cooked down into tomato sauce that is either chunky or smooth. The tomatoes can also be chopped down and used in salsa dishes. Tomatoes are the most popular item canned in home kitchens in the United States, and the reason is because tomatoes are easy to can and are so versatile in the kitchen.

Choosing and Preparing Tomatoes

Choose tomatoes that are free of disease and signs of rot. For best flavor, use only tomatoes that are ripened on the vine and process them within the first two to three hours after picking or purchasing. You need roughly 13 pounds of tomatoes to fill 9 pints and 21 pounds of tomatoes to fill 7 quarts. Begin by washing the tomatoes. Dip them in a pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, or until their skins split. Carefully remove from the boiling water and drop into a bowl of cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and remove the cores with a paring knife.

Increasing Acidity

To safely can tomatoes, acidity needs to be increased to a pH of 4 to 4.6. When canning pint sized jars of whole tomatoes, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon citric acid, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar to each jar before adding the tomatoes. For quart sized jars, add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon citric acid, or 4 tablespoons of vinegar to each jar before adding the tomatoes. Salt does not need to be added to canned tomatoes, but it can be used to improve the flavor of the tomatoes and to protect their color while canning.

Raw or Hot Packed

To raw pack tomatoes, fill clean jars with prepared tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Fill the jars with hot, boiled water, leaving the 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with new, clean lids and bands. Hot packing whole tomatoes involves boiling the tomatoes in liquid before canning them. Place the prepared tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil the tomatoes for 5 minutes and fill clean jars with the tomatoes and the liquid. Cover with new, clean lids and bands.

Processing

Canned whole tomatoes can be processed in a boiling water canner or pressure canner. Because you have increased the acidity of the tomatoes, you can easily process them in boiling water. Fill the water canner halfway with water and fill the canning rack with the filled jars. Lower the canning rack into the water. Boiling water must cover 1 to 2 inches over the tops of the jars. Add more boiling water to the water canner as needed. Pints are processed in boiling water for 40 minutes at altitudes of 0 to 1,000 feet and for 45 minutes at altitudes of 1,001 to 3,000 feet. In a dial gauge pressure canner, raw packed tomatoes, in either pints or quarts, are processed for 10 minutes at 11 pounds in altitudes 0 to 2,000 feet. In weighted gauge pressure canners, process the raw packs at 10 pounds at altitudes of 0 to 1,000 feet and at 15 pounds for altitudes of 1,000 feet or higher. Hot packed tomatoes, in either pints of quarts, are processed in a dial gauged pressure canner for 15 minutes at 6 pounds in altitudes 0 to 2,000 feet. In weighted gauge pressure canners, process the hot packs at 5 pounds at altitudes of 0 to 1,000 feet and at 10 pounds for altitudes of 1,000 feet or higher. After the processing time is reached, allow the jars to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes before removing from a water bath and for up to an hour before removing from a pressure canner. Place the jars in a place where they will not be disturbed for 12 to 24 hours before placing them in storage.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Rehydrate Dried Fruit

Not only is dried fruit a great way to store the summer’s harvest, it is also a great addition to your cooking. Dried fruit is normally eaten in its dried state or added to breads, trail mixes, and cookies. The dried fruit can also be softened before adding it to breads and hot cereals. By cooking the dried fruits, you can also make purees and baby food that can be cooled and eaten immediately.

Soak in Liquid

There are three ways you can rehydrated dried fruit without cooking them. The easiest method is to spread dried fruit on a dish and sprinkle the fruit with water or fruit juice. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can also put the dried fruit in a bowl and cover it with boiling water. Let stand for five to ten minutes and strain off the liquid. The third method is to place dried fruit in a steamer and steam over boiling water for five minutes or until the fruit is soft. Dried fruit that has been rehydrated needs to be used immediately or else it will begin to go bad. The rehydrated fruit can be stored in a plastic container with lid for up to one day.

Cook Until Soft

Dried fruit that needs to be softened for recipes, made into puree or baby food are softened on the stove. Put the dried fruit in a saucepan and cover with fruit juice or water. Simmer the fruit until it is tender. If you are making a puree or baby food, simmer the fruit until it becomes so soft that it is falling apart and can be pureed in a blender. If you want to sweeten the fruit or add spices, add them after the fruit has softened. If you sweeten the fruit while it is still simmering to get soft, the fruit will become tough.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Grow Watermelon

Growing watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in your home garden has many advantages over buying watermelon from a grocery store. The best benefit to growing your own watermelon is that you harvest the fruit when it is at its peek. Commercially grown watermelon is harvested before the fruit reaches its maximum sweetness because the unripe fruit will not suffer as much shipping damage as ripened fruit. Watermelon that is picked before it is fully ripe will not continue to ripen. When you grow your own watermelon, you can check the fruit before harvesting to make certain it is at maximum sweetness.

Direct Seed Planting

Watermelon seeds can be bought from gardening stores and from most online seed suppliers. Seeds are sown directly into the ground in small mounds after the last frost. Seeds will germinate in soil that is 60 F or higher. Seedless watermelons need a soil temperature of 70 F or higher to germinate. Plant 2 to 4 seeds in each mound at a depth of 1 inch, spaced at 8 feet apart on all sides. After the seeds have germinated, thin the seedlings so there are two plants per mound.

Transplanting

Watermelon is a long season, warm weather crop and it can take 70 to 90 days to reach maturity. In areas with a short growing season, starting transplants indoors before the last frost can add four to five weeks to the area’s growing season. Plant one to two seeds per peat pot, at a depth of one inch, up to five weeks before the last frost. The soil temperature should be kept at 60 to 70 F for the seeds to germinate. Use supplemental lights hung 6 to 12 inches above the plants to provide the plants with 14 hours of light. If the seedlings do not get enough light, they will become leggy. The soil will need to be kept moist while the seeds are germinating with the use of misting. Seedlings can be planted outside after the last frost and the soil temperature is between 65 and 70 F. Before transplanting the plants, harden them off by setting the plants outdoors during the days for three to four days and bringing the plants indoors.

Site, Soil, Fertilizer

Watermelon is grown in the full sun and needs eight to ten hours of sunlight each day. The soil needs to be well drained and slightly acid with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Fertilize soil with 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 base fertilizer at 3 pounds per 100 square feet before seeds are planted. The soil should also be tilled to a depth of 6 inches. After the seeds have sprouted or the transplants have been planted, mulch with dried grass clippings to prevent weeds and to hold the moisture in the soil.

Water Requirements

Watermelon needs a lot of water to grow because the fruit is made up almost entirely of water. Give the plants 1 to 2 inches of water a week. Drip irrigation works best for watermelons, but most home gardeners will water the plants from above. When watering the plants, avoid watering at night because this may cause foliage diseases. Water the plants in the early afternoon so that the sun can dry off the leaves before nightfall.

Harvesting

There are several different methods to test watermelons for maturity. The most surefire method is to cut a piece out of one of the watermelons in the garden. If it is dark pink inside, the fruit has reached maturity. Another method to examine the curly tendril at the stem. If it is dry, the watermelon is ready to be harvested. You can also check the color of the underside of the watermelon. If the underside is yellow, it is ready to harvest. Cut the fruit from the vine to prevent any damage to the fruit. The melons are washed and can be stored at temperatures of 52 to 60 F for 2 to 3 weeks.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shelf Life of Pickled Bologna

Inspecting a jar of pickled bologna found in the grocery store is the first step in determining how long the bologna can be stored. The use by date should be printed on the label or lid of the jar. If you cannot find or read the use by date, you need to determine how long the product has been sitting on the shelf. If the jar appears clean, not dusty, and the label is not torn, ask a store manager to find when the product was shipped to the store and to determine what the use by date is for the product. The use by date on store bought pickled bologna is the date you should use when determining the shelf life of the item.

Shelf Life of Homemade Pickled Bologna

Canning your own pickled bologna is a great way to ensure the quality of your pickled meats. Label each jar of pickled bologna with the date it was canned. Store unopened pickled bologna in a dry pantry at room temperature (between 50 and 70 F) for up to one year. After opening the jar, keep the pickled bologna refrigerated between 33 F to 40 F for up to 2 weeks.  If you are uncertain how long a jar has been open, it is best to throw out the contents than to risk eating spoiled food.