If you’re searching for how to harvest vegetable gardens you’re probably right at the end of a growing season looking for the best tips. A lot of different kinds of vegetables mature around the same period of time so it can be a task for backyard vegetable gardeners to keep up.
When Are Vegetables Ready?
The majority of veggies are ready and at their peak of flavor and tenderness when they are smaller. Zucchini is one of the veggies that is best to pick smaller than wait for them to grow into giants. They are best when they are about 6 or 7 inches long. When they are grown too long they get woody and tough.
Keep Track Of Your Vegetables Planting
Seed packets indicate how long it will take for your seeds to grow and mature into the veggies you are excited about growing. Keep your seed packets, mark your calendar, or use an online calendar to mark the approximate date the plants should be close to ready to harvest.
Keep Track Of Vegetable Varieties
Different varieties of fruits and veggies are designed to grow to different sizes before they are harvested. One variety of beans might be ready when they are quite short while others can grow to more than a foot before they are ready. Even watermelon varieties can differ a lot between when they are ready to harvest. Know what you planted, keep track of their progress, and mark your calendar.
As your garden grows and once it is ready to harvest it is important to keep an eye out for trouble and easier to harvest in small steps. All of your veggies will probably not be ready on the same day, so picking what is ready daily will take less time and effort than dedicating an entire day to doing all of it at once.
One way to stay on top of harvesting is doing a little each day by taking your basket out and inspecting your vegetables to see what is ready to pick. If you pick your veggies as soon as they are rip it encourages the plant to keep growing more.
Watch For Trouble
As you tend your garden or harvest it is important to watch for trouble in your garden. Rotting fruit or yelling leaves are signs of problems and should be removed. Even if the problem is serious such as a branch having cracked from excessive rain or a blossom end rot its best to remove the problem areas. If you don’t your plant is wasting resources on fruits you won’t be able to eat.
Common Vegetable Harvesting
There are some varieties of vegetables which end up in practically every backyard garden. Things like tomatoes, herbs, green beans, sweet corn, peas, and root veggies. Read below for tips for harvesting specific types of veggies.
Harvesting Sweet Corn
The key to sweet corn is when you harvest. This is a variety of corn which beings to lose that wonderful sweet flavor the moment it is picked. That means growing it in your garden is the ultimate way to get the absolute best sweet corn flavor. In fact in years past many families wouldn’t pick it until a pot of water was already boiling and ready to blanch it. Your sweet corn is ready to harvest when you can feel the kernels are full and round beneath the husk, a kernel produces a milky sap when squished, and the silk at the top of is drying out.
There are so many different varieties of tomatoes that it is impossible to list exactly when to harvest each of them without a post dedicated to harvesting tomatoes. There are larger slicer types that take much longer than cherry tomatoes and even more variety. Follow the seed packets carefully to know when to check these tomatoes. Tomatoes produce the best flavor when they are allowed to fully ripen on the vine, but do continue to ripen even after being picked.
Unlike other kinds of veggies or fruit harvesting herbs is an ongoing and frequent process. Cut back or pinch herbs often to encourage them to grow new stems and leaves. These are the parts we eat and the more shoots your herbs have to produce, they more you will get. This means you will probably have an excess of things like basil or oregano but they can be used for recipes like pesto or oregano can be dried in brown paper bags.
Vegetable Gardening Nursery & Supply
If you want to get the most out of your vegetable garden our team has the knowledge to grow local, best plants, best seeds, and even carry easy gardening kits to get you started. No matter what stage you’re at we can help you maximize your backyard gardening efforts!
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