Apples being eaten by birds and squirrels; melons, pumpkins, and squash being ravaged by rodents –rabbits, voles, raccoons, whatever!! They in essence, are getting to your garden crop before you do!
Stop waiting for a hard or killing frost to harvest your apples and other produce from the garden It is September 21, and 90% of the edible stuff in your garden is at, or close to its peak of ripeness. Better to get everything harvested rather than lose a significant amount to the wildlife roaming around your property.
Apples and melons are climacteric fruits and will continue to ripen after harvest. If you place them in a bag with a ripe peach or banana where ethylene is generated, the ripening will be accelerated. It is better to get something out of your garden a little under-ripe than to lose it all to nature’s interlopers!!
– Ron Smith, NDSU Horticulturist and Turfgrass Specialist, ISA Certified Arborist