When To Harvest Your Garden Vegetables

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Do you wonder when to harvest your garden’s vegetables? I’m sharing how my straw bale garden is growing and when to harvest the produce.

As many of your know, I'm trying straw bale gardening this year.

As many of your know, I’m trying straw bale gardening this year.

I've been fertilizing my garden with Dr. Earth Organic and Natural Vegetable Fertilizer every couple of weeks. I sprinkle 1/2 cup across the bale and water as usual. I love that I don't have to mix anything.

Fertilize garden information

I’ve been fertilizing my garden with Dr. Earth Organic and Natural Vegetable Fertilizer every couple of weeks. I sprinkle 1/2 cup across the bale and water as usual. I love that I don’t have to mix anything.

When To Harvest Video

I bring out my cooking scissors and trim off a little dill at a time.  It is usually best to pick your dill before the flowers bloom.  You can use it fresh, or let it dry and use it later.  I usually like to freeze some as well.  Let some of the flowers bloom and when they finish you'll have seeds for the future.

when to harvest Dill

I bring out my cooking scissors and trim off a little dill at a time. It is usually best to pick your dill before the flowers bloom. You can use it fresh, or let it dry and use it later. I usually like to freeze some as well. Let some of the flowers bloom and when they finish you’ll have seeds for the future.

The best time to pick tomatoes is when they start to turn color.  This fruit will continue to ripen like other fruits after picking.  Leaving them on the plant too long can cause them to get sun or heat damage, or attacked by bugs.  We eat these fresh, turn them into spaghetti sauce, and I blend them into a chunky puree and freeze them to use in place of canned diced tomatoes in recipes.

When to harvest tomatoes

The best time to pick tomatoes is when they start to turn color. This fruit will continue to ripen like other fruits after picking. Leaving them on the plant too long can cause them to get sun or heat damage, or attacked by bugs. We eat these fresh, turn them into spaghetti sauce, and I blend them into a chunky puree and freeze them to use in place of canned diced tomatoes in recipes.

I like to pick my green beans when they are around 3 inches long.  This is before you can see the bean shape through the pod.  I bring them in, wash them, and snip the ends of the green beans.  We have frozen some of the green beans for use during the winter.  We eat the snap peas while they're fresh.

When to pick green beans and snap peas

I like to pick my green beans when they are around 3 inches long. This is before you can see the bean shape through the pod. I bring them in, wash them, and snip the ends of the green beans. We have frozen some of the green beans for use during the winter. We eat the snap peas while they’re fresh.

I like to pick them when they're about 6-7 inches long.  Sometimes they sneak up on me and I get a 12 inch Zucchini, we still eat it.  Those make up a few good meals.  I make several recipes when we harves them, and we have chopped up a few and froze them to be used inside casseroles or spaghetti sauce in the winter to get those extra vegetables in.

when to pick zucchini and yellow squash

I like to pick them when they’re about 6-7 inches long. Sometimes they sneak up on me and I get a 12 inch Zucchini, we still eat it. Those make up a few good meals. I make several recipes when we harves them, and we have chopped up a few and froze them to be used inside casseroles or spaghetti sauce in the winter to get those extra vegetables in.

It's time to pick your carrots when the top diameter of the carrot is about 1 inch, and they will sometimes start pushing themselves up and out of the soil or bale.  We like to eat these fresh as well, but we have peeled, blanched, cut them, and froze them for later use.

when to harvest carrots

It’s time to pick your carrots when the top diameter of the carrot is about 1 inch, and they will sometimes start pushing themselves up and out of the soil or bale. We like to eat these fresh as well, but we have peeled, blanched, cut them, and froze them for later use.

We like to grow pie, carving, and jack be little, pumpkins.  We know it is time to pick them when they reach their desired orange color we love so much.  Sometimes we have harvested a pumpkin as early as the end of July.  Just store them in a cool place until it's time to display them for your holiday.  We love to bake with ours, and you can find a few recipes in my recipe section of the blog.  I have baked our pie pumpkins, and froze the cooked pumpkin to use later.

when to harvest pumpkins

We like to grow pie, carving, and jack be little, pumpkins. We know it is time to pick them when they reach their desired orange color we love so much. Sometimes we have harvested a pumpkin as early as the end of July. Just store them in a cool place until it’s time to display them for your holiday. We love to bake with ours, and you can find a few recipes in my recipe section of the blog. I have baked our pie pumpkins, and froze the cooked pumpkin to use later.

I like to use my kitchen scissors and trim off some stems, bring them inside, wash them, and pull off the leaves to use in recipes and tea.  The best time to harvest them is right before the flowers bloom.  I tend to trim from them all summer long because it grows like a weed here in Colorado.

How to harvest mint

I like to use my kitchen scissors and trim off some stems, bring them inside, wash them, and pull off the leaves to use in recipes and tea. The best time to harvest them is right before the flowers bloom. I tend to trim from them all summer long because it grows like a weed here in Colorado.

The best time to harvest rhubarb is in May, June, and early July.  The stems and leaves are a decent size, but don't pass the little stems as they can be just as good as the big stems.

when to pick rhubarb

The best time to harvest rhubarb is in May, June, and early July. The stems and leaves are a decent size, but don’t pass the little stems as they can be just as good as the big stems.

How do you harvest rhubarb?

This part is so much fun to me. Grab the stem close down to where it comes up from the ground. Pull up lightly and the stems just detach with ease if they’re ready.

You can best harvest basil when it's about 6-8 inches tall.  You can pick off some of the leaves, or you can trim off a stem for use.  I use it fresh, but you can also dry basil to use during the winter months.  I also freeze it in baggies so that I can use it in recipes later.

When to pick basil

You can best harvest basil when it’s about 6-8 inches tall. You can pick off some of the leaves, or you can trim off a stem for use. I use it fresh, but you can also dry basil to use during the winter months. I also freeze it in baggies so that I can use it in recipes later.

The acorn squash is ready to pick when the squash is a decent size, dark green and firm, and the stem looks like it's dying.  We love acorn squash and if you keep in in a cool place it can last a good long time.  We have had it last for up to a couple months.  It will change color to an orange like a pumpkin when stored for awhile.

When to harvest acorn squash

The acorn squash is ready to pick when the squash is a decent size, dark green and firm, and the stem looks like it’s dying. We love acorn squash and if you keep in in a cool place it can last a good long time. We have had it last for up to a couple months. It will change color to an orange like a pumpkin when stored for awhile.

We are growing both salsa and jalapeno peppers.  It is good to pick a pepper when it's between 4-6 inches, has a bright sheen, and is a bright green.  We have put some of these in the freezer after we have cut them and removed the seeds.  Remember to wear gloves while handling, and be sure not to touch your eyes.  We usually use these up while they're fresh and salsa is one of our favorites.

when to pick jalapeno Peppers

We are growing both salsa and jalapeno peppers. It is good to pick a pepper when it’s between 4-6 inches, has a bright sheen, and is a bright green. We have put some of these in the freezer after we have cut them and removed the seeds. Remember to wear gloves while handling, and be sure not to touch your eyes. We usually use these up while they’re fresh and salsa is one of our favorites.

It's best to pick cabbage when it is about the size you want and firm.  Be careful not to let it grow too big or it can split.

When to harvest cabbage

It’s best to pick cabbage when it is about the size you want and firm. Be careful not to let it grow too big or it can split.

Harvest your spaghettig squash when it reaches decent size, and is a dark yellow color.  It should be firm, and you shouldn't be able to poke your nail through it.  We use the flesh of the spaghetti squash instead of noodles when we make spaghetti.

When to pick spaghetti squash

Harvest your spaghettig squash when it reaches decent size, and is a dark yellow color. It should be firm, and you shouldn’t be able to poke your nail through it. We use the flesh of the spaghetti squash instead of noodles when we make spaghetti.

It's great to pick these when they are medium green and firm.  They get more "seedy" if you let them get too big.  We eat these fresh, and they do not freeze well.

when to harvest cucumbers

It’s great to pick these when they are medium green and firm. They get more “seedy” if you let them get too big. We eat these fresh, and they do not freeze well.

You can pick eggplant when it is smaller, and it's okay to let it grow so you get more fruit.  You want to be sure to pick it when the fruit is firm and before you can see seeds.

When to harvest eggplant

You can pick eggplant when it is smaller, and it’s okay to let it grow so you get more fruit. You want to be sure to pick it when the fruit is firm and before you can see seeds.

I'm a big fan of Garden Safe's Organic Fungicide 3 and Neem Oil. With there being so many bugs this year, I knew the natural predictors just weren't going to keep up with the fast multiplying. I followed the instructions on the bottle and sprayed my entire garden.

I’m a big fan of Garden Safe’s Organic Fungicide 3 and Neem Oil. With there being so many bugs this year, I knew the natural predictors just weren’t going to keep up with the fast multiplying. I followed the instructions on the bottle and sprayed my entire garden.

I use a variety of defenses against animals and bugs. Everything from garden sprays, a fence, solar lights, wind spinners, and more. You can find them in my post How To Get Rid of Garden Pests

When To Harvest Your Garden Vegetables video

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Do you wonder when to harvest your garden's vegetables? I'm sharing how my straw bale garden is growing and when to harvest the produce.

The time to harvest can begin as early as July, but it really depends on your region, when you planted, etc. September is usually wrapping up the season, and things start to dwindle down. Some people are lucky enough to get crops through October.

Here is some more information about harvest time:

  • Bulbs – in the fall (this is for flowers)
  • watermelon and other melons – when the underside turns to a yellowish color
  • sweet corn when the tassels turn dark brown at the ends
  • cauliflower when the heads are 6-8 inches in diameter
  • broccoli when the head stops growing
  • asparagus when it’s about 6-8 inches tall
  • beet, parsnips – 50-70 days after planting
  • okra 60-70 days after planting
  • brussel sprouts when the heads are 1-2 inches in diameter
  • lima after the pod has changed color and the beans are plump
  • radishes when the leaves are 4 inches tall
  • sweet potato just as the ends of the vines begin to turn yellow
  • winter squash look for the vines to have died back
  • hot peppers as soon as they are large enough to eat
  • onion late summer
  • lettuce when the leaves grow 3-6 inches long

How much you yield will depend on the growing season, first frost, etc

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6 Comments

  1. Your vegetables look great Chas! I am just starting to harvest mine here too!

    1. That’s awesome Stacy, I’m so excited for our gardens

  2. Chas, I love all the pictures of your vegetables. Your summer garden looks like mine in the spring. Nothing is growing now but a bit of basil, peppers and grapes. The downside to living in hot Phoenix in the summer. So nice to see you had success with rhubarb and cucumbers as both of those failed for me this year. And yes, the bugs are so abundant this year for some reason. I need to purchase Neem oil as I’ve read such good things about it. Thanks for all the great tips and I have vegetable envy!

    1. It is crazy to think that parts of the globe are growing while other parts aren’t. I totally understand your frustration with things not growing. I have had too many years like that which is why I’m doing the straw bale garden this year.

  3. Thanks for the harvesting tips, Chas. I missed the boat on the pumpkins this year, so sad. So I’ll live through you. I’ve had many issues this year with the extreme heat in June and cooler than normal weather in July. Lots of pests and less production.

    1. It’s it crazy how many pests there are this year… I know it has to do with all of our strange weather patterns this year too.

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