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How to Know When to Harvest

Knowing exactly when to harvest is the key to growing delicious vegetables. There isn’t an exact date that your vegetables will be ready to harvest, but by tasting your vegetables you will be able to determine when they are ready. Keep in mind, every vegetable is different and will have different harvesting time. What is good for one vegetable may not work for another.

Watch our video to learn how to know when it’s time to harvest:

  • cucamelons
  • tomatoes
  • squash
  • pumpkin
  • beans
  • sunflowers
  • corn

Below we have all the tips you need for other popular vegetables and how to know when they’re ready for their first taste test.

Broccoli:

broccoli

Check your broccoli often, especially as the weather warms up, this is to ensure that the flower heads don’t bloom. When you grow your own broccoli, it won’t get to the size you see at the grocery store so don’t wait for it to get too big. The individual buds should be about the size of a match head when ready for harvest. After the first harvest, smaller side shoots should continue to form.

Cucumbers:

cucumber

Cucumbers will be ready to harvest when they are about seven to nine inches long and have a dark green color, however, it will vary depending on the variety. Check your cucumbers daily and harvest them young. Overripe cucumbers can be very bitter or pithy, even before they start to turn yellow.

Onions:

onions

Once you notice the tops of your onion plants starting to flop over, that’s a signal that the plant has stopped growing and is ready for storage. Allow the onions to dry in the sun before storing.

Carrots:

carrots

Carrots are in the ground, so it can be hard to tell when they are ready to harvest. You can see the tops of the carrots at the soil line and you can determine when the diameter looks right for your variety, if the diameter looks good, chances are the length is fine too. But the best way to tell is to pull a carrot out to fully determine if they are ready or not. A light frost can actually help improve and sweeten the carrot’s flavor.

Spinach:

spinach growing

Once the plant is about 6 inches tall, you can start harvesting individual leaves. Spinach goes to seed quickly. As the plants mature, harvest by cutting stems at the soil line before you see a flower stalk beginning to shoot up, which is usually when the weather starts to get warmer.

Asparagus:

asparagus growing

You can begin harvesting when the spears are 6–8 inches tall and they should be about as thick as your pinky finger. Cut the spear at ground level, right above the soil with a sharp knife or scissors, and new spears will continue to grow. Stop harvesting about 4–6 weeks after the initial harvest or when the spears start to get thinner, to allow the plants to produce foliage and food for themselves.

Beets:

beets growing

When you decide to harvest your beets is based on personal preference when it comes to the right size for harvesting. You can harvest and eat the green tops when you thin out the rows. They will be ready any time after you see the beet shoulders poking out at the top of the soil.

Have fun harvesting and enjoy your freshly grown vegetables!

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