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Tips on Harvesting Your Vegetables

Date Posted: July 1, 2014

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener Tips on Harvesting Your Vegetables
photo credit: Caserta Squash in Mike`s Garden

This is an exciting time of the year for us home vegetable gardeners. Tomatoes are full of ripe juicy fruits that you can’t wait to sink your teeth into. The cucumber vines are climbing up, up, up and away, and those mouth watering fruits of the Cucurbitaceae family are just days away from being a snack or part of your salad.

Of course, who can forget zucchini. My neighbor once told me zucchini grows so fast you can watch them get bigger on the plant. Who can argue? Have you ever had a zucchini about 3 inches long on one day, only to come back tomorrow and it’s ready to be picked? I know I have.

Regardless of which fruit or vegetable is your favorite in your home vegetable garden, when to harvest your vegetables can make all the difference in their flavor.

For starters, I always like to pick the fruit or vegetable when I am ready to consume it. To me that is the peak of freshness. The taste of a sliced, freshly picked tomato on some multi grain bread with a touch of mayo, is out of this world.

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While we would all like to pick our veggies and then consume them immediately, we all know this is not always practical. If you find yourself in this scenario, where you need to pick your veggies in advance, my recommendation is first thing in the morning, just as the sun is rising.

Once you have your veggies harvested though, I would not wash them as that could speed up the process of your fruits or veggies losing their flavor. Instead, go ahead and place your freshly harvest veggies right in your fridge as is. When your vegetables are ready to be consumed, you would then at that point remove them from the fridge, wash off any dirt, and consume. They will still taste great.

Finally do not let your vegetables get “over ripe”. Earlier I talked about zucchini. When zucchini gets too large, they become loaded with seeds and that takes away from a lot of the “meat” of the veggie. Also when a plant has overly large zucchini on them, they can not grow more efficiently. By picking your zucchini when they are in the 8 to 10 inch range, your plant remains healthy, and the zucchini itself tastes great.

The same holds true for most other varieties of fruits and vegetables. Pick often, hopefully when you are ready to consume (or preserve), and let your plants keep on producing so that you can continue some great harvests.

Please share this article! Let`s get everyone gardening!

Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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