There’s a reason why late summer is symbolized by cornucopias of fall veggies and nuts. It’s harvest time! Here’s how to get the most out of your harvest this fall.
Harvesting your veggies can be as simple as picking them from the garden when they’re ripe. But, for many of us, it can be useful to have some guidance on when to pick, how to pick and what to do next…
In general, most of your vegetables planted in summer will be ready to harvest between late summer and fall. Different vegetables have different harvest requirements, and this chart from Weekend Gardener is a helpful resource.
As for the garden as a whole, keep these tips in mind:
- Harvest early. Young vegetables taste best. If you’re unsure of ripeness, taste a bite before harvesting the whole plant.
- Harvest some now and save the rest for later. Harvest single leaves of lettuce and greens. Cut the main broccoli and cauliflower crowns, leaving the plant to produce more smaller crowns.
- Harvest produce during the cool parts of the day, like early morning.
- Handle your veggies gently: they should be seen but not heard. Use a knife to cut ripe vegetables away instead of pulling them and stressing the plant.
- Harvest often. Neither you nor your plants benefit from having mature fruits or fruits rotting on the plant. If you grew more than you can use, preserve it or share with neighbors.
- Store your harvest out of direct sunlight, preferably in a cool or cold place depending on the vegetable.