they should be ready now that it is august.........when you pick them other buds will form fast and the plant will be rushing to produce as many as possible because fall is coming early. You can wash them, dry them that our the seeds, cut them in strips or chunks or tiny........freeze them on a tray and bag them in regular freezer bags........they will NOT stick together and they will keep well in the freezer until next growing season. We ran out of the garden ons in May. You also could clean them and stuff and freeze them and make them as needed or cook and freeze them depends on what you want to do. We have the machine that takes out the air.....we use them on the stuffed cooked ones and make 2 to a bag enough for 2 people.