After you spend a few months planning, planting and growing your garden, you may want to enjoy the fruits, and vegetables, of your labor. However, it can be tricky to know when and how to harvest your kitchen garden.
These tips will help you pick produce that is ripe and ready:
Keep a Garden Journal
When you plant your garden, take note of what you have planted, where you placed it, and how many days it will take to ripen. Each day, check the growth of your plants and make notes in your journal along the way. Don't forget to include current weather conditions, because this could speed up or slow down the growth of your garden. These notes will help you monitor the progress of your plants and will allow you to anticipate exactly when your fruits and vegetables will be ripe for picking.
Check the Quality of Your Vegetables
When you go to the garden each day to check on your plants, make sure that you are monitoring for signs of decay or disease. Irregular growth, unusual spots, or discoloration may be a sign that your plant is not thriving. It also may indicate that a pest has moved into your garden. If you see any suspicious signs or symptoms, act quickly to prevent further damage to your garden.
Pick Those Vegetables Before They Get Too Big
It may sound surprising, but you don't want your vegetables to grow too large. Extra-large vegetables are going to lack flavor and are also going to have more seeds than their younger, smaller counterparts. It's best to keep an eye on their growth and development in your garden and pick vegetables when they are between a small and moderate size. This will allow you to enjoy the freshest and most delicious vegetables in your garden salad every evening.
One of the trickiest parts about harvesting your garden is taking the vegetables off their plants. It is important you gently tug on the vegetables so they easily break free from their mother plant. A light pull will allow you to grab your fresh produce without damaging the plant and will ensure that the plant can continue to grow and thrive throughout the season.
By harvesting your garden regularly, you will find that your plants continue to produce throughout the entire season.