Harvesting Tips For The Freshest Vegetables. Photo

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Harvesting Tips For The Freshest Vegetables. Photo
Harvesting Tips For The Freshest Vegetables. Photo

Video: Harvesting Tips For The Freshest Vegetables. Photo

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Experienced gardeners know that it is not enough to grow a crop - it is important to harvest and preserve it correctly. At the same time, harvesting is much more important for its safety than you might imagine! Plus, by picking the fruit in time, you can enjoy its true flavor. The tips in this publication will give a clear understanding of what principles to follow when picking vegetables from the garden. In addition, we will tell you how to properly harvest the most popular crops in the garden.

Harvesting tips for the freshest vegetables
Harvesting tips for the freshest vegetables

Content:

  • 4 main points in harvesting vegetables
  • Tips for harvesting the most popular crops

4 main points in harvesting vegetables

Collect 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. Picking vegetables as soon as they are ripe will often cause the plant to produce even more.

More is not always better

Most vegetables are at their peak tenderness, juiciness and flavor when they are relatively small. Zucchini, for example, are most delicious when they are no more than 15-17.5 cm long, and then they become tough and wooden (if you do find such an overripe monster, you can turn it into caviar).

Observe the correct picking times for vegetables

It's important to keep a close eye on what and when you plant. It's best to even save the seed bag so you know when the plant is ready for harvest in case you forget it. Today there are many varieties of vegetables with different sizes and flavors of fruits, as well as with different periods of their ripening. These features must be taken into account.

Look for reasons to worry

When you are harvesting, look for concerns, such as yellowing of leaves or rotting of fruits, and eliminate them. Even if it is something that you practically could not do anything about: for example, rotting or damage to fruits due to too heavy rains, there is no point in letting the plant waste energy on something that you cannot eat. Therefore, feel free to cut off and cut off bad fruits, leaves, etc.

If you see spoiled fruits on the plant, remove them immediately
If you see spoiled fruits on the plant, remove them immediately

Tips for harvesting the most popular crops

Herbs

Split or prune the herbs often so that they release more leaves and stems (i.e. the parts we eat) and don't bloom as the bloom changes their taste. If, for example, this rule leaves you with an excess of thyme or oregano, simply dry the fresh herbs, store them in a brown paper bag, and you can use them in cooking any time of the year.

Basil especially needs frequent pruning of the stems in order to stay thick and grow many new shoots. At certain times in July or August, everyone has too much basil, which is why the Italians came up with pesto (you can find many recipes with basil on the Internet).

Tomatoes

There are just a huge number of varieties of tomatoes. Many of them turn red when ripe, but there are also orange, yellow, striped or even green. You can plant small tomatoes of the Red Currant variety or the huge plants of the Bull Heart variety, which, in the vast majority of cases, will take longer to ripen. So take a look at the information on the seed package to know what to expect from the planted tomatoes, and keep a close eye on the upcoming ripening period.

Typically, the fruit of a tomato can be considered fully ripe if it is easily separated from the stem. But if you suddenly pick an incompletely finished fruit, it's okay, it can ripen after harvesting. However, tomatoes get their richest and sweetest taste when they ripen on a plant, illuminated by the warm sun. Once you've picked the first few tomatoes of a particular variety, you'll understand how ripe fruit should look and taste like.

Some tomatoes are of the "deterministic" type that stops growing after a few weeks. However, most of the tomatoes grown today are "indeterminate", that is, they will grow, bloom and bear fruit until the frost finally kills them, although a decrease in temperature will in principle cause them to reduce the intensity of fruiting. Therefore, about a week before the first frosts are to pass in your region, it makes sense to collect even green fruits of tomatoes. To make them mature well indoors, you can wrap them in newsprint. However, you can use many green tomato recipes.

Pepper

A pepper can be considered ripe and ready to eat if it has reached a sufficient size, but still remains green. If left on the vine longer, it will change color to red, orange, yellow or brown (depending on the variety) and become less aromatic and crunchy. Hot peppers left on the vine to change color will become even sharper. Thus, picking green or colored peppers depends on the variety and what you want from your crop. As with tomatoes, the first few fruits plucked will teach you how to correctly determine the degree of maturity of a particular variety.

Bow

The best indicator that an onion is ripe is foliage folding. Dig up the bulbs and place them in a dry place for at least a week. Tip: If your onions are in bloom, pick the flowers and use them in salads for added flavor.

The best indicator that onions are ripe is foliage foliage
The best indicator that onions are ripe is foliage foliage

Lettuce

It is very important to harvest mature lettuce leaves before hot weather, before they start shooting, or before allowing the plant to bloom, which will give the leaves their characteristic bitter taste. With lettuce and many other green plants, you can do it simply: systematically “cut and come back” - as long as the leaves are juicy, young and tender, and their length does not exceed 13 cm.

Use scissors to carefully cut off the largest leaves. When the small leaves are large enough, cut them off as well. You can go back to lettuce two, three, four times at intervals of several days before it surrenders to the summer heat. To increase the lettuce yield, shoot-resistant varieties can be used and the seeds can be sown several times at two-week intervals.

Another good technique for delaying shooting in hot climates is to create some shade by using tarpaulin or other material. At the end of summer, sow the green seeds again for a harvest.

Peas

For garden peas, select a dough pod and open it when the seeds begin to swell inside. You want peas that are round and ripe, but still tender. Collect it shortly before you are ready to clean and cook it. For tender and sugar varieties, you will need to check the pod when it is almost full size. You want a fresh, crunchy pod that has begun to develop but not overripe seeds. Pods that have been left on the vine for too long become too tough.

Green beans

It is a very easy vegetable to harvest. Collect the pods when they are just a little short of their maximum size to ensure that they are tender, soft and not fully ripe. If you delay, the seeds will ripen and harden and the pod will become tough. Do not harvest the green beans in the morning when there is still dew on the vine. Better to wait until the plant is completely dry to avoid spreading disease. Remember to systematically make sure the vine continues to bloom and produce new pods.

Cucumbers

Read on the seed bag what size your cucumbers should be in ripe state, how long it takes them to reach this state. But remember that, in principle, you can harvest cucumbers at any stage of their growth, depending on your goals. Smaller fruits will be more tender, with a thin skin and few seeds (or immature seeds). Overripe cucumbers become dry and tough. Like melons, cucumbers should be cut from the vine, not twisted.

Zucchini

Many gardeners allow zucchini and other zucchini to grow to large sizes before harvesting. However, the fruits will have optimal flavor and texture if you cut them when they are only 10-12.5 cm long. 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.

Winter pumpkin (squash)

Let the winter squash ripen well before you start harvesting - wait until the rind is thick enough that you can't punch through 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 young (less than 15 cm in size) and eaten fresh, uncooked.

Let the winter squash ripen well before you start harvesting
Let the winter squash ripen well before you start harvesting

Corn

When it comes to harvesting corn, timing is the key. The kernels begin to lose their sweetness and flavor the very moment you pull the ear off the stem. Therefore, it is very good to grow corn in your own field: this way you can wait until the last. The traditional advice is to boil the water in which you will boil the corn in a saucepan, then go out into the garden and cut off the required number of ears, then cook them immediately. Sweet corn is ready to eat when you feel full, round kernels underneath the husk; the husk in the upper part of the ear dries up, and the mature kernels are filled with juice.

Roots

Read the information on the seed packaging to find out how long it takes before it makes sense to test the maturity of your carrot, turnip, beet, radish or parsnip variety. When this time is about the time, gently loosen the soil and pull the root crop up to find out what size it has reached. Root vegetables are softer and have a more delicate aroma and taste when they are relatively small and young. The longer the root vegetable stays in the ground, and the more it grows, the harder, drier and more acrid it tastes.

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