Mid-summer you will start to notice the fruits of your labor when your crops are ready to be harvested!! Starting a garden is a lot of work, so you will want to make the most out of your harvest. Here are some general tips on how to do so:
- Picking the correct time
For example some vegetables need to be picked at the peak of their ripeness, while others benefit from being picked early and allowed to ripen off the plant. Check out this website for how to know when crops will be ready and how to harvest them when they are.
- Harvesting regularly
Many vegetables (such as beans) will stop growing if mature produce is left on the plants.
You will also want to harvest your crops before pests, such as birds, get to them.
- Harvesting in the morning
Cooler temperatures for you.
Allows for more hydrated fruits/vegetables.
- Cut, do not rip or tear
Use a knife or scissors to remove produce.
- Continue general garden maintenance
Be diligent about weeding (weeds will thrive in summer heat).
Continue watering and mulching beds.
Monitor plants for disease and pests.
In addition to harvesting, there still may be time to plant second or third crops. Check the days to maturity for each crop and add a week or two to the days to harvest to factor in shortening of days. Choose crops that will come to harvest before frost or crops that do not mind cooler weather. This guide shows when crops can be harvested.