Growing vegetables in your garden takes a lot of effort but is definitely a lot of fun. As each vegetable grows differently you must learn the tricks of picking your vegetables at the right time. Picking them too early or late may not leave you with the best taste. Either they are not ripe enough or they may be too soggy.
Broccoli- Cut broccoli when the flowers start to bud but not before the flowers open. It is essential to leave about 6 inches left of the stem. You can eat both the top and the stem of broccoli.
Asparagus- Cut asparagus spears when they are about 5 inches tall. Cutting them when they are this height will give you the best and biggest amount of this vegetable before it start to seed up for the next year. It is important to cut the asparagus instead of snapping them off. Snapping them may cause the roots to not develop correctly the next year.
Brussels Sprouts- It is best to cut these vegetables when they are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches around. As you are harvesting these vegetables you can cut off any leaves that may be attached. This helps your brussels sprouts that are still trying to increase in size, grow correctly.
Cabbage- Feel the cabbage to make sure that it is firm. If the cabbage appears to be soft then it will not taste good when eating. You should wait until your vegetable is solid but don't want too long because you don't want it to crack.
Carrots- Carrots are a very hardy vegetable. They tend to last until it gets pretty cold out. Wait until they are about 1 inch around and cut them from the stems. The larger they get in size, the firmer they tend to be.
Cauliflower- You can pick this vegetable when it turns to a white color. This is a very easy vegetable to maintain and you will definitely know when it is time for your cauliflower to be picked. Cauliflower usually grows in a bunch and will be about 8 inches around when it is ready to be picked.
Corn on the cob- When the silk leaves on the corn turns a dark green this usually means that it is ready to be picked. You can be sure by skinning the ears and making sure that the kernels are a bright yellow color. After the silk has been taken off of the corn it usually lasts for about 3 days so be sure to eat it up quickly.
Cucumbers- You can pick cucumbers according to your needs. The size you want this vegetable depends on if you are going to be eating them as cucumbers or turning them into pickles. The size of your cucumbers can be anywhere from 2 to 8 inches. Your cucumbers will turn a dark green color when they are ready to be picked. Be sure that you pick them quick enough. If they start to turn yellow, this means that the season is over and they are no longer good to eat.
Garlic- Pull the garlic out of the ground when the tops of the bulb start to turn yellow after they have flowered. It is important to dry the garlic out before storing it in a cool place.
Peas- Pick pea pods when they are dark green and the peas are full. Be sure that the peas are firm when you touch them.
Green Beans- Pick your green beans when the inside beans have turned plump and they are a dark green color. The best time to pick them is in the late summer months of July and August.
Radishes- Radishes have the best flavor when they are only about a half of an inch around. Many people like to wait until they are larger but the best flavor diminishes after they have reached an inch in size.
Kohlrabi- Kohlrabi grows similar to cabbage. You should pick this vegetable when the bulb is about 3 inches around. You may possibly be able to let your vegetable grow bigger however the taste is best when they are smaller.
Lettuce- Cut the leaves for your lettuce when they are about 5 inches long. Lettuce usually lasts between 2-3 months so you can use your lettuce as you need it. Picking your lettuce off and storing it in the refrigerator may cause it to brown a lot quicker.
Onions- Onions can be picked when they are about 6 inches high and 1/4 of an inch in diameter. Like garlic, onions should also be air dried before storing. The best place to allow them to dry is on a porch outside for two to three days.
Peppers- You may pick peppers at any size depending on the taste you prefer. Some people prefer to pick them when they are large in size for a sweeter taste.
Potatoes- Wait until the vines which the potatoes are connected to completely die. Picking them too early may give you pretty small potatoes. You may have to dig down about a half of foot in the soil in order to harvest your potatoes.
Spinach- Harvest your spinach before the stalks develops. Waiting too long may reduce the quality of the vegetable.
Tomatoes- Pick tomatoes when they are light red. You should continue to allow them to ripen inside until they reach a dark red color. This is the best time for you to eat them.
Harvesting your vegetables is a lot of work since it is important to know when the right time to pick them is. It is helpful for you to keep a chart with you when you check up on your vegetables. Harvesting them at the right time is just one of the many things you need to do when you are growing a vegetable garden. Planting them at the right time and keeping up with the weed pulling is also a lot of work. When the vegetables are completely the good definitely outweighs the bad when growing a garden.