Experienced gardeners know that it is not enough to grow a crop - it is important to collect and preserve it correctly. At the same time, harvesting is much more important for its preservation than you can imagine! In addition, picking the fruit on time, you can enjoy its true taste. The advice you will find in this publication will give you a clear understanding of what principles you should follow when collecting vegetables from the beds. In addition, we will tell you how to properly harvest the most popular crops in the garden.Harvesting tips for the freshest vegetables.
4 Highlights in Harvesting Vegetables
Pick vegetables daily
It will be just fine if you can go out into the garden every day with a basket to see what is ripe and put the ripe fruits in it. Harvesting vegetables immediately after ripening very often forces the plant to produce even more of them.
More is far from always better
Most vegetables are at the peak of tenderness, juiciness and taste when their size is relatively small. Zucchini, for example, is most delicious when its length is no more than 15-17.5 cm, and then they become stiff and wooden (if you still find such an overripe monster, you can turn it into caviar).
Observe the correct harvest time for vegetables
It is very important to carefully monitor what and when you planted. It’s best to even save a seed bag to find out when the plant is ready to harvest if you suddenly forget it. Today there are a lot of varieties of vegetables with a variety of size and taste of fruits, as well as with different ripening times. These features must be considered.
When you are harvesting, look for concerns, such as yellowing leaves or rotting fruits, and eliminate them. Even if this is something that you could hardly do anything about: for example, rotting or spoiling the fruit due to too much rain - it makes no sense to let the plant waste energy on something that you cannot eat. Therefore, boldly cut and prune bad fruits, leaves, etc.If you see spoiled fruits on the plant, remove them immediately.
Most Popular Crop Harvesting Tips
Pinch or prune herbs often so that they release more leaves and stems (that is, the parts that we eat) and do not begin to bloom, as flowering changes their taste. If, because of this rule, you, for example, have an excess of thyme or oregano, simply dry the fresh herbs by storing them in a brown paper bag and you can use them when preparing dishes at any time of the year.
Especially in need of frequent pruning of basil stalks in order to remain dense and grow many new shoots. At a certain time in July or August, everyone has too much basil, which is why Italians came up with pesto (you can find a large number of recipes with basil on the Internet).
There are just a huge number of varieties of tomatoes. Many of them turn red when they mature, but there are also orange, yellow, striped, or even green. You can plant small tomatoes of the Red Currant variety or huge plants of the Bull Heart variety, which, in the vast majority of cases, will ripen longer. So study the information on the package with the seeds to know what to expect from the planted tomatoes, and carefully monitor the approaching date of their ripening.
As a rule, a tomato fruit can be considered fully ripe if it is easily detached from the stem. But if you suddenly pluck a fruit that is not completely ready - it's okay, it can ripen after harvest. However, tomatoes get the most intense and sweet taste when they ripen on a plant, illuminated by the warm sun. As soon as you pick up the first few tomatoes of a certain variety, you will understand how its ripe fruits should look and taste.
Some tomatoes are of the "determinate" type, which stops growing after a few weeks. However, most tomatoes grown today are “indeterminate,” that is, they will grow, bloom, and bear fruit until the frost finally kills them, although lowering the temperature will in principle make them lower the fruiting intensity. Therefore, about a week before the first frosts should pass in your region, it makes sense to collect even green fruits of tomatoes. So that they ripen well in the room, you can wrap them in newsprint. However, you can use many recipes for dishes made from green tomatoes.
Read our detailed material: How to ripen and store tomatoes?
Pepper can be considered ripe and ready to eat if it has reached a sufficient size, but still remains green. If you leave it on the vine longer, it will change color to red, orange, yellow or brown (depending on the variety) and will become less fragrant and crisp. Hot peppers left on the vine to change color will become even sharper. Thus, picking peppers in green or color depends on the variety and what you want to get from your crop. As with tomatoes, the first few picked fruits will teach you to correctly determine the degree of maturity of a particular variety.
The best indicator that the onion has ripened is folding foliage. Dig the bulbs and place them in a dry place for at least a week. Tip: if your onion blooms, pick the flowers and use them in salads for an extra flavor.The best indicator that the onion has ripened is folding foliage.
It is very important to collect the mature leaves of lettuce before the hot weather, until they begin to "engage" in shooting, or before allowing the plant to bloom, due to which the leaves will get a characteristic bitter aftertaste. With lettuce and many other green plants, you can do simply: systematically "cut off and come again" - as long as the leaves are juicy, young and tender, and their length does not exceed 13 cm.
Use scissors to gently cut off the largest leaves. When the small leaves become large enough, cut them off. You can return to lettuce two, three, four times with an interval of several days before he surrenders under the pressure of the summer heat. To increase lettuce yield, shoot-resistant varieties can be used and seeds sown several times at two-week intervals.
Another good technique for delaying shooting in a region with a hot climate is to create a small shadow by using tent fabric or other material. At the end of summer, sow the green seeds again to get the crop.
In the case of garden peas, select a test pod and open it when the seeds begin to swell inside. You need peas round and ripe, but still tender. Collect it shortly before the moment when you would be ready to clean and cook it. For tender and sugar grades, you will need to check the pod when it grows to almost full size. You need a fresh, crisp pod, in which the seeds began to develop, but the seeds did not ripen. Pods that remain on the vine for too long become too stiff.
It is a very light harvesting vegetable. Collect the pods when they are nearly grown to their maximum size to be sure of their tenderness, softness and incomplete maturity of their seeds. If you hesitate, the seeds will ripen and harden, and the pod itself will become hard. Do not collect green beans in the morning when there is still dew on the vine. It is better to wait until the plant is completely dry to avoid the spread of disease. Remember to systematically ensure that the vine continues to bloom and produce new pods.
Read on the bag with the seeds what size your cucumbers should be in a mature state, how much time they need to reach this state. But remember that, in principle, you can collect cucumbers at any stage of their growth, depending on your goals. Smaller fruits will be more tender, with a thin peel and a small amount of seeds (or with immature seeds). Overripe cucumbers become dry and hard. Like melons, cucumbers need to be cut from the vine, and not unscrewed.
Many gardeners allow zucchini and other zucchini to reach large sizes before collecting them. However, the fruits will have an optimal taste and texture if you cut them when their length is only 10-12.5 cm. Tip: look for "male" flowers - those that do not have a small ovary on the stem - and use them in as a beautiful addition to salads, or add to cheese and fresh vegetables.
Let the winter squash ripen well until the moment you start harvesting - wait until its peel is thick enough so that you can not pierce it with your fingernail. Then, store the pumpkins in a cool, dry place for several months. Tip: like summer squash, the winter version of this fruit, if desired, can be harvested in a young state (less than 15 cm in size) and eaten fresh, unprepared.Let the winter squash ripen well before you start harvesting.
In the case of the harvest of corn, the timing is paramount. The kernels begin to lose their sweetness and aroma at that very moment, as soon as you pick the cob from the stem. Therefore, it is very good to grow corn in your own field: so you can wait until the last. The traditional advice is to boil water in a pan in which you will cook corn, and then go out into the garden and cut the required number of ears, and then cook them immediately. Sweet corn is ready to eat when under the husk you feel the presence of full, rounded kernels; the husks in the upper part of the cob dry out, and the mature kernels are poured with juice.
Read the information on the seed packaging to find out how much time should pass before it makes sense to check the maturity of your variety of carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, or parsnips. When this time is about to come, carefully loosen the soil and pull the root crop up to find out what size it has reached. Root crops are softer and have a more delicate aroma and taste if they are relatively small and young. The longer the root crop remains in the ground, and the stronger it grows, the more it becomes more hard, dry and pungent in taste.