When Are Your Vegetables Ready For Harvest

One of the most critical steps in gardening is knowing when vegetables are ready to be harvested. Unfortunately, many novice gardeners make mistakes with vegetables because they don’t know how long it takes to grow or what signs to look for that indicate their readiness. This article will look at different commonly grown vegetables and give you an idea of when to harvest each of them.

Tomatoes

The best way to determine if your tomato is ready for harvest is by its color. A ripe tomato will have a full, rich color and be slightly soft when you press on it. If a tomato has a green tint, it is not fully ripe yet, and you should wait another week before harvesting it. Additionally, make sure that all of the fruit on the plant has turned red or yellow because if only some of the tomatoes are ready, they will not taste good.

Carrots

Carrots take about three months to grow, from planting seeds to harvesting. For optimal flavor, carrots need warm weather during their growing season, which means that they can be grown in spring or summer in most climates. Look at their size to determine if your carrots are ready for harvesting. Carrots should be at least three inches long and have a bright orange color compared to the white-colored ones that haven’t been exposed to enough light.

Broccoli

Broccoli needs about 55 days to grow from seedling to harvest time, and it is best grown in spring or summer when there is plenty of warmth and sunlight. To test whether broccoli is ready, try one of the larger florets by pulling it off the plant. If it comes off easily, then that means that all of the other smaller florets are also ripe. Additionally, you can break apart some of the leaves surrounding each head. If they snap off easily, they are ready to be harvested.

Corn

Corn is one of the most challenging vegetables to tell when it is ripe because it is usually harvested before its prime time. However, you can determine if corn is ripe by touching it with your hands. If the husk feels smooth and firm, then you should wait another week or two before harvesting it. If you aren’t sure exactly how long it will take for corn to ripen, watch for the silks at the top of the corn plant. If this occurs, leave your ears of corn on the stalk until their silk turns dry and brown. When they turn brown, that means that seed formation has begun, and your crop will have a chance of being successfully pollinated.

Green Beans

You can harvest both bush and pole green beans once their pods have reached a length of four to six inches. However, you mustn’t let your green beans become too big because the seeds will begin to harden, making them taste bitter. Green beans are best to pick when they still retain some of their bright colors instead of being dull or yellowish in appearance.

Zucchini

Zucchini is one of the most challenging vegetables to harvest because it can easily seem ready before its prime time. When zucchini has just begun to form, you will see small flowers appearing right below the blossom end, so it is best to wait until all of these flowers have disappeared before harvesting your crops. If you want more giant zucchinis, leave them on the plant, so they begin maturing. If their skin becomes dark green and shiny, the squash is ripe for picking.

Peas

Peas are ready to harvest once their pods are plump, with seeds bulging slightly. Pods should also feel smooth when pinched between your fingers and not be too soft or firm. Discoloration of pods is another indicator that the peas are ready to be harvested. If you notice yellowing, green spots, or browning on the pods, leave them on the plant for a bit longer.

Potatoes

Harvest potatoes once the plants have begun to dry out and die. You mustn’t harvest them while the plants are still alive because if you do, they won’t store well in your root cellar or produce good tubers. Before harvesting potatoes, dig around with your hands. If you feel spuds, you can carefully pull them up with your hands. If it is too difficult to tell potatoes with your hands, rub two adjacent stems together. Whenever there is a screeching sound, there’s most likely a potato formed between the stems.

Conclusion

To know when your vegetables are ready for harvest, you should touch them with your hands, check the color of their leaves, and pull them out of the ground. Some vegetables take more than others, so it is essential to be patient to produce good quality crops. To be safe, you should always research what vegetables can go in which season so you won’t be overwhelmed with a surplus of a particular food.