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Tips for harvesting! Is there a wrong way?

By Victoria Fuller

Hello fellow gardeners! It’s that wonderful time of year where the fruits (and vegetables) of our labour are finally ready to be plucked and made into soups, salads, quiches, and whatever else you can put your vegetable-loving mind to!

For today’s blog post we wanted to provide a few helpful tips on the best methods for physically harvesting your crops, it isn’t always as simple as just grabbing on for dear life and pulling as physically hard as you can (if only things could be solved with this method). So without further ado, here are some of the most commonly grown vegetables and our advice on the best methods to bring them out of the soil and onto your plate!

Tomatoes

To harvest these delicious fruits make sure to gently twist the tomato off of the vine, make sure you do not use a pulling motion as this can damage the stem of the plant and can damage your chances of further fruits growing! You will know when your tomatoes are ready to harvest by feeling them: if they are firm but soft like a peach then they are ready, if they are on the harder side like an apple then they still need a little more time to grow!

Peas

These delicious veggies take approximately sixty days to ripen enough to harvest, and a good indicator that they are ready to be picked is to pluck them around twenty days after they have finished flowering (they will also appear to be plump and slightly swollen in appearance)! The best method for picking peas is to gently twist them off of the vine without damaging the vine, this will help retain the environment for new peas to grow!

Carrots

These delicious root vegetables are a roast dinner staple and incredibly easy to grow yourself. You will know it’s harvest time when the “shoulders” of the carrot measure around 1 inch across. Now the trick with carrots is not to get carried away by treating the luscious green stem as a “handle”, use a trowel or spade to loosen the soil around the carrot and gently pry it out only using the stem to support the vegetable as you go!

Cucumbers

You will know it’s time to harvest your cucumbers when they are between six and eight inches in length! If you wait too long sometimes your cucumbers will become bitter and spongy and this is bad news for everyone! The best way to harvest them is by using sharp scissors or a knife to trim them away from the vine, this will cause minimal damage to the plant itself.

Kale

Cutting kale at the base of the leaves is the best way to ensure that the plant will keep producing! You will know when your kale is ready to be “kale”-ected (sorry) by checking the size: Once the leaves are around twelve inches-tall then they should be ready to be harvested (this generally happens around fifty days after planting!).

Basil

For those of us who planted herbs instead of vegetables, then we can offer some guidance here as well! You will know your basil is ready to pluck once it’s between six and eight inches tall (this usually takes around two months!) To harvest your basil you will want to pinch off each leaf at its base where the leaf reaches the stem, this will encourage new growth!

We hope that this blog post has given you some useful tips and insight into how to finish the harvesting season strong, and remember just because the calendar says that autumn is just around the corner, with these temperatures there is no reason that you can’t hold out hope for another harvest in November!


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