Up next in Gardening Tips (27 videos)
How does your garden grow? Everything -- plants, flowers, vegetables -- will grow better if you heed the gardening tips in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Gardening book or internet access
- Leafy vegetables
- Cabbage-type vegetables
- Root vegetables
- Vine vegetables
Do some research
Research your vegetables. Check a gardening book or web site for the specific harvest times or sizes for your garden's particular vegetables.
Check leafy vegetables
Check leafy vegetables for color, size, and tenderness. Chard, spinach, collard greens, kale, and leaf lettuce can all be harvested a few leaves at a time.
Check cabbage-type vegetables
Harvest cabbage and Brussels sprouts when the heads are firm and solid; harvest broccoli while the heads are still tight and green, and cauliflower while tight and white.
Harvest peas and lima beans when the seeds are plump but not hard; green or snap beans should be harvested when the seeds are one-quarter size; and edible pea pods before the seeds reach one-half size.
Check root vegetables
Harvest beets, carrots, and turnips when they grow to a 1-inch diameter; and onions and radishes at a ½-inch diameter. Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be dug up as soon as the plant yellows, but leave parsnips in the ground for several moderate freezes.
Check vine vegetables
Harvest summer squash and cucumbers when they are smaller than 6 inches. Harvest winter squashes and pumpkins when their skins darken and they become firm enough to resist your fingernail.
Check other vegetables for size and appearence
Harvest asparagus and celery when they reach 6 to 10 inches in height; harvest tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant when they reach full color. Harvest sweet corn when kernels are soft and produce a milky liquid when they are crushed with a fingernail.
Clean, prepare, and enjoy
Clean, prepare, and enjoy your vegetables. Not only will you get the freshest taste, you'll have the satisfaction of having grown them yourself.