Best Tips for Harvesting from Your Vegetable Garden

Try these tips for best results in harvesting veggies and seeds from your garden.Watching a garden grow to the point of producing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or foliage can be immensely rewarding. Whether you start your garden from seeds, seedlings, or full-sized plants, the joy you feel at the onset of the blossoms and blooms or delicious produce is unmatched by many other outdoor hobbies.

To take full advantage of your gardening efforts, be sure to water your plants as often as needed, taking special care not to overwater them. Also, feel free to fertilize plants according to the packaging on the MiracleGro container or that of your preferred fertilizer product. Take the time to weed your gardens as needed, and apply plant-friendly pesticides if you find the bugs are out of control. If you take good care of your garden, your garden will take good care of you when it comes time to deliver the fruits of your efforts.

When your vegetable plants have matured and produced their first yield, you’ll surely be proud of your tremendous accomplishment. You’ll also notice your grocery bill should go down a bit, if you tend to purchase a fair amount of fresh produce regularly. To help you get the most out of your vegetable garden and its harvest, follow these easy tips!

“Harvest often,” says Roses for Dummies author Lance Walheim. “Letting crops get over mature will reduce future yields.

“If you don’t pick cucumbers, beans, peppers, squash, and others on a regular basis, the plant puts it energy into making those fruit bigger and bigger (and inedible) at the expense of setting more fruit that can be eaten. So if you don’t pick regularly, the plant stops producing. It’s better to pick and throw it away than to leave it on the plant.”

Gardening is great for goodwill and sharing. You can offer excess vegetables to your neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers rather than letting the veggies spoil or grow too large on the vine.

Another good reason to harvest frequently is to give yourself an edge against the wild creatures that also like to pilfer your produce. Rabbits and deer are notorious for helping themselves to many things in just about any garden, and to gardeners, this can be especially frustrating. If you visit your garden daily or every other day, chances are that you can beat these critters to the punch and get most of your veggies before they end up half-chewed up or completely gone.

If you plan to pick a fair quantity of smaller vegetables such as peas, green beans, or small to medium sized tomatoes or potatoes, you may wish to bring a colander with you. The colander comes in especially handy when you end up cooking your fresh-picked veggies on the same day as harvesting them.

If you don’t get quite enough veggies in one picking for dinner, don’t worry. You can always save them for a few days until your garden produces enough for a meal. Most fresh-picked or store-bought fresh vegetables can last for anywhere between two days and two weeks in the crisper of your refrigerator. Some vegetables may benefit from bags or containers. Also, a good rule of thumb is to wait to wash your fresh produce until right before you want to cook or eat it.

Finally, if you are interested in collecting seeds from your garden for next year’s harvest, you may have to do a small amount of research, depending on the type of vegetables you’ve been growing. Collecting seeds from your vegetable garden should be a fairly easy process once you learn what steps you need to take.

“It’s different for each vegetable,” Walheim says. “Lettuce needs to be allowed to bolt (go to seed), which means you can’t eat it. Tomatoes have to be deseeded and the seeds dried and properly stored.”


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