Planning to display vegetables in a fair or other competition? Be careful how you get them to the show, says a University of Georgia expert.
"To prevent bruising during travel, wrap or pad them in baskets or boxes," says Wayne McLaurin, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. "A lining or loose wrapping of plastic can prevent drying, too."
Keep your prized veggies out of the sun to keep them from discoloring. On potatoes, light can cause greening.
Be Careful With Plastic
Plastic films can protect vegetables during travel or setup, he says, but should be removed before judging.
"Don't enclose moist vegetables in films during hot weather, as rapid decay might occur," he says. "A judge may understand slight wilting under hot conditions, but decay is inexcusable at any time."
If cool-stored vegetables "sweat" when brought into a warm room, he says, don't wrap or place them in closed containers until they've warmed and the moisture condensation has stopped. Wipe them dry before packing.
"Always take a few extra vegetables, too," McLaurin says, "in case of damage or injury during handling and moving."
(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)