We had a great harvest of the Meals Plus Harvest Garden over the Labor Day weekend and donated the bounty to the Friendly Neighborhood Senior Center.  It was so much fun talking to the residents who literally followed us in the door to be the first to select from our donated garden goodies.  Here is a list of what we were able to provide last week:

Peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes just harvested

Lemon cucumbers – 13.22 lbs

Sweet bell peppers – 5.75 lbs

Eggplant- 2.71 lbs

Summer squash – 1.53 lbs

Winter squash – 4.87 lbs

Radish – 4.95 lbs

Corn – 16.47 lbs

Tomatoes – 81.52 lbs

Cherry tomatoes – 13.21 lbs

Total donation: 144.23 lbs of garden deliciousness!

When we were weighing and recording the donation, we noticed some damage on a portion of the peppers and thought it was a great time to highlight a common injury to pepper fruit, sunscald injury.

sunscald spot on pepper

Have you ever noticed sunken, papery-looking spots on pepper fruits and wondered what caused the injury? If so, this blog post is for you because your peppers might have a sunburn!

Sunscald injury occurs when fruits are exposed to too much direct sunlight and the surface of the fruit becomes damaged. Typically plants with sunscald injury also have leaf loss resulting from disease, insect feeding, over-pruning or under-fertilization. So give your peppers a little sun protection by using these tips to avoid sunscald injury on pepper fruits.

  • Maintain good leaf canopy through proper pruning, fertilization, irrigation, and pest control. For more information on best management practices for growing peppers, click on Dr. Drost’s Peppers in the Garden fact sheet.
  • Use appropriate plant spacing and provide regular nitrogen fertilization to growing plants.
  • Use row covers or shade cloths to protect developing fruit from excessive sun exposure.
  • Manage diseases such as powdery mildew. Pick-up and throw away any diseased plant parts and select disease resistant plant varieties when possible.
  • Carry a pair of sharp pruners when harvesting fruits so leaves and stems do not become damaged when you are picking your pint of peppers (to pickle)?
  • Have a little tolerance, a few sunburned spots are not the end of the world! You can cut-out or eat around damaged areas.

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