Spring Garden Tips
National Pear Month

You purchase a beautiful pear, set it on the counter to ripen and a few days later take a bite. Seems it is either too hard or over ripe. In fact, 84% of people surveyed did not know how to tell when a pear was ripe.

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

National Pear MonthUnlike apples, pears ripen better off of the tree. So harvest your homegrown pears when they easily separate from the tree. Lift the fruit to a horizontal position and if it detaches it is time to harvest. Then move them to a cool place for several days to improve ripening and longevity. Then finish ripening the fruit at 65 to 70 degrees.

Use the neck test to determine your pear’s ripeness. Hold the pear in the palm of your hand like a baseball. Use the thumb of that hand to gently press against the pear right below the stem. If it gives evenly under gentle pressure it’s ready to eat. If it resists wait a day or two.

A bit more information: Select Asian pears based on smell not firmness. A ripe Asian pear will be firm with a strong sweet aroma at room temperature and less so when the fruit is cold.

Share
 

Related Garden Moments for Radio

Blueberries - National Blueberry Month

Celebrate National Blueberry month this July by planting a few of these ornamental and edible plants in your landscape.

Listen to ... Blueberries National Blueberry Month

Celebrate Rose Month - Eat Your Roses

The from-the-garden-to-the-table movement is not just about fruits and vegetables. Edible flowers like roses can provide beauty in a vase or on your dinner plate.

Read more...

Eco-friendly Control of Fungus Gnats

Don’t worry if you notice small fruit fly-like insects flitting across the room. It is not a sign of bad housekeeping nor are they harmful to your plants.

Listen to Eco-friendly Control for fungus Gnats...

Elderberry: International Herb of the Year

Hardy, edible and the 2013 International Herb of the Year make elderberry a great plant for any size landscape or even container gardens.

Listen to ... Elderberry...

Fall Flowers on Forsythia and Other Spring Bloomers

A forsythia bloom in fall? It’s not as unusual as you think.

Listen to Forsythia and Spring Bloomers...

Fireblight

On your next winter walk, check apples, pears, quince and other members of the rose family for signs of fireblight disease.

Listen to Fireblight...

Garden Your Way to Better Health

Have you committed to improving your health this year? I have good news – you can do this while planting, maintaining and harvesting homegrown nutritious food and beautiful flowers.

Listen to Garden Your Way to Better Health...

Gather Ideas and Fresh Produce from the Farmers Market

Didn’t get that garden planted this year? Or maybe you didn’t plant enough for your families needs. Don’t worry, you can still have fresh from the garden flavor and be kind to the environment.

Listen to Produce and Ideas from the Farmers Market...

Grow a Bountiful Harvest All Season Long

Boost your garden’s productivity and harvest garden-fresh vegetables all season long.

Listen to Growing a Bountiful Harvest...

Grow a Nutritious Garden in a Pot

Add a bit of nutrition to your diet and landscape. Grow a container full of nutritious vegetables for your patio, deck or balcony.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Grow Star and Heart Shaped Veggies

Add a little star power to your meals with the help of cookie cutters and veggie molds.

Read more...

Grow Your Own and Save

Reduce your grocery bill this summer by growing a few of your favorite vegetables. And the good news, you don’t need much space to produce enough fresh vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.

Listen to Grow a Vegetable Garden...

Grow Your Own Fat-free and Flavorful Apples

Apples are the perfect fat free fruit for your diet and garden. Plant just a couple trees or a small orchard so you can harvest an apple-a-day right from your own backyard.

Listen to Grow Your Own Fat-Free Apples...

Grow Your Own Favorite Recipe

Picture this - Your guest reaches over and plucks a sprig of mint from a planter to add to their iced tea or Mojito. Nothing beats the fresh-from-the-garden flavor or fun of ingredients right from your own garden.

Listen to Grow a Recipe...

Grow Your Own Pickles & Celebrate National Pickle Week

Celebrate National Pickle Week by growing a few of your own cucumbers for pickling.

Llisten to Grow Your Own...

Growing Apples

Apples are the perfect fat-free fruit for your diet and garden. Plant just a couple trees or a small orchard so you can harvest an apple-a-day right from your own backyard.

Listen to Growing Apples...

Growing Fruit in Small Spaces

No space for a garden? Don't worry you can add fruits to your patio, balcony or other small space landscape.

Read more...

Growing New Plants From Kitchen Scraps

Don’t throw those peach pits, avocado and grapefruits seeds into the compost pile. Have a little family fun and try growing these into a memory.

Listen to Growing New Plants from Kitchen Scraps...

Growing Your Own Healthy Snack

Grow a few healthy snacks for you and your family to enjoy. Carrots have the crunch of chips and crackers without the fat and calories.

Listen to Growing Healthy Snacks...

Harvest and Care of Fall Raspberries

Sweeten those fall days with a handful of fresh raspberries. And maximize the flavor and bounty with proper harvesting and care.

Listne to Harvest and Care of Raspberries...

Harvest Tomatoes for the Best Flavor

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. And, proper harvesting will insure the best flavor.

Listen to Harvest Tomatoes...

Harvesting and Preserving the Flavor and Nutrients of Root Crops

It’s time to start reaping the benefits of your spring plantings. So break out the garden fork and get busy harvesting.

Listen to Harvesting vegetables...

Harvesting and Storing Grapes

Growing your own grapes for jam, jelly, and of course wine can be fun. Get the most flavor and productivity with proper harvesting and a bit of bird protection.

Listen to harvesting and storing grapes...

Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins

Fall is here and that means its time to harvest and select the perfect pumpkin for your garden or Halloween display.

Listen to Harvesting Pumpkins...

Harvesting Flowers for Drying

Enjoy your garden’s beauty year round. Harvest and dry a few flowers to use in flower arrangements, craft project or as gifts for friends and family.

Listen to Drying Flowers...

Harvesting Garlic

Get the best flavor and longest storage life from your homegrown garlic with proper harvesting and curing.

Listen to Harvesting Garlic...

Harvesting Onions and Potatoes

Break out the garden fork and get ready to start harvesting onions and potatoes.

Listen to Harvesting Onions and Potatoes...

Harvesting Pickles and Cucumbers

Dills, sweet or slicers all start as cucumbers. It’s the timing at harvest that makes the difference.

Listen to Harvesting Cucumbers and pickles...

Harvesting Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a favorite for kids of all ages. Not only are they fun to grow, they’re also great to eat – that is - if you can beat the birds and squirrels to the seeds.

Listen to Harvesting Sunflowers...

Harvesting Vegetables and Melons

All your hard work and effort is paying off with a bountiful harvest.

Listen to Harvesting Vegetables...

Harvesting, Using and Preserving Herbs

Spice up your cooking with fresh-from-the-garden herbs.

Listen to Harvesting Herbs...

Homegrown Vegetables Add Flavor to Gluten Free Diets

Don’t let going gluten-free get you down. Include some fresh-from-the-garden vegetables to add flavor to your gluten-free meals.

Listen to Homegrown Vegetables Add Flavor to Gluten Free Diet...

Lettuce, Kale, and Collards - Harvest Tips for Maximum Flavor and Nutrition

Get the most flavor and nutritional value from your garden-fresh vegetables with proper harvesting, storage and preparation.

Listen to Garden Vegetables...

National Acorn Squash Day

Roast it, bake it, or cook it into soup. However you like it, include some acorn squash in one of your meals.

Listen to ... National Acorn Squash Day

New Herb Plants from Old

Bring a bit of flavor indoors for fall and winter. Take cuttings of your favorite herbs to create a windowsill garden.

Listen to ... New Herb Plants...

New Year's Resolution Garden

The holidays are filled with lots of delicious foods and sweets. But now is the time to resolve to grow your own vegetables and eat healthier in the New Year.

Listen to New Year's Resolution Garden...

No Fruit on Holly - December's Other Birth Flower

Holly is a popular plant in holiday displays, one of the birth flowers for December and a favorite evergreen in the landscape.

Listen to... No Fruit on Holly

Ornamental and Edible Fruits

You don’t need to sacrifice beauty to grow a few edibles in your landscape. Many ornamental plants grown for their beauty also produce edible fruit.

Listen to ornamental and Edible Fruits...

Ornamental Edible Landscape - Fruit Plants

Round out your meals with some fresh from the garden fruit. It is easier than you think to grow your own apples, plums, and berries.

Listen to Edible Landscape...

Outdoor Vegetable Cleaning Station

Don’t let your garden soil end up in the kitchen. Instead create a produce cleaning station outside near the garden.

Read more...

Picking Apples & Pears

Whether you grew them yourself or visited a Pick-Your–Own farm, get the best flavor from your apples, pears and plums by harvesting them at the right time.

Listen to Picking Apples and Pears...

Planting a Garden...Double Up for a Bigger Harvest

Double your harvest without increasing your garden space. Try planting short season vegetables like lettuce, radishes and beets between long season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, okra, cabbage, and broccoli. When the short season veggies are ready to harvest, the longer season larger vegetables will need the space.

Listne to Planting a Garden...

Planting Garlic

Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, fight heart disease, boost your immune system, and add a bit of flavor to your meals by growing your own garlic.

Listen to Planting Garlic...

Poor Fruiting on Cucumber, Squash and Other Vine Crops

Your plants look great, loaded with healthy leaves and flowers, but there is still no fruit. This is a common complaint I hear from gardeners growing squash, cucumbers and other vine crops.

Listen to Poor Fruiting on Vine Crops...

Preserving and Sharing Your Harvest

Are you like me and always squeeze in that extra tomato plant, another row of beans or that one left over pepper plant? It seemed like a good idea at the time. But now you have more produce than you need.

Listen to Preserving your Vegetable Harvest...

Preserving the Asparagus Harvest

Preserve the flavor and nutrition of asparagus to enjoy year round.

Listen to Preserving the Asparagus Harvest...

Pruning and Training Systems for Grapes

Sharpen those pruners because late winter through early spring is the time to prune and train grapes.

Listen to Pruning and Training Systems for Grapes...

Pruning Currants and Gooseberries

Many gardeners are growing their own fruits and vegetables, including some traditional favorites like currants and gooseberries. Proper pruning will keep these plants looking good and productive.

Listen to Pruning Currants and Gooseberries...

Pruning Fruit Trees

Increase your harvest with proper pruning.

Listen to Pruning Fruit Trees...

Pruning Raspberries

Prune raspberries in winter to increase your harvest and reduce pest problems.

Listen to Pruning Raspberries...

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Don’t drag that Christmas tree to the curb. Give it a second life in your landscape.

Cut trees make great windbreaks in the landscape. Strategically place discarded Christmas trees on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood and other broadleaf evergreens to reduce problems with winter burn.

Listen to Recycle your Christmas tree...

Rhubarb

Grow the main ingredient for a classic, delicious, and family favorite – rhubarb pie.

Listen to growing Rhubarb...

Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Be a part of history and save money when planting next year’s garden. Collect and save the seeds from your favorite heirloom tomatoes this fall.

Listen to Saving Tomato Seeds...

Speed Up Your Tomato Harvest

Be the first in your neighborhood to harvest a red ripe tomato from your garden this summer.

Listen to Growing Tomatoes...

Still Time to Plant Vegetables - Late Additions to the Garden

Don’t let the calendar stop you from gardening. There is still time to plant vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.

Listen to Vegetable Gardening...

Storing and Preserving Herbs

Preserve the flavor and zest of herbs with proper storage and preservation.

Listen to Storing and Preserving Herbs...

Strawberries for Any Landscape

Anyone can grow fresh strawberries for their cereal in the morning or to enjoy with a glass of wine at night.

Listen to Strawberries for any Landscape...

Strawberries for Every Space Garden

Add a bit of nutrition and beauty to your patio, deck, or balcony with a pot of strawberries. It’s a great way to keep a nutritional snack close at hand.

Listen to Strawberries in Garden Spaces...

Summer Pruning of Raspberries

A bit of summer pruning goes a long way to keeping your raspberries healthy and productive. So get out the mosquito netting, long sleeves and pruners and get busy.

Listen to Pruning Raspberries...

The Apple: December 23rd to January 1st Birth Tree

If you were born between December 23rd and January 1st your birth tree is the apple. It is said to represent scientific talents, charm and a carefree philosopher with imagination.

Listen to... The Apple

The Edible and Ornamental Chokeberry (Aronia)

Though chokeberry is not an appetizing name, this four season beauty is making a big impact in edible and ornamental gardens.

Read more...

The Last of the Tomatoes

Fall has many of us scrambling to protect plants from frost, move tropicals indoors or finish harvesting our vegetables. Be sure you collect a few green tomatoes to ripen indoors.

Listen to harvesting tomatoes...

Tomato Troubles

You waited all season for that first red ripe tomato only to discover less-than-perfect fruit. But don’t worry, you can still have a great harvest and improve things for next season.

Listen to Tomato Troubles...

Verticillium Wilt

Sudden wilting and death of individual branches of maples, redbuds and other susceptible trees may mean verticillium wilt has infected the plant.

Read more...