You’ve spent the spring and summer preparing for this! Now, it’s finally harvest time. As you’re dreaming of fresh veggies, we’ve got you covered with our top 5 tips to make your first, second or tenth harvest more successful.
Tip 1: Be patient, but not too patient
Harvesting your vegetables right before they reach full maturity ensures the best flavor and texture. Prompt harvesting also prevents over ripening or bolting (when plants go to seed and can lose their flavor or become bitter). Regularly check your garden for mature vegetables and harvest them as soon as they are ready. This will also free up space for new growth.
Tip 2: Handle with care
Gently handle your vegetables during the harvesting process. This helps prevent bruising or other injuries that can prevent bruising or other injuries that may lead to spoilage. Using the right tools is important here, too. Sharp and clean tools like pruning shears or garden scissors to avoid damaging the plant. (Our Gardening Shears and Pruners are a customer favorite for just this reason!)
Tip 3: Harvest in the morning
Harvesting in the morning, when temperatures are cooler, is generally recommended . Vegetables tend to be more crisp and flavorful earlier in the day as they’ve had a chance to reabsorb moisture overnight and convert starch formed the previous day to sugars for added sweetness! Additionally, morning harvesting helps reduce the risk of heat stress for both you and the plants during hot summers and early falls.
Tip 4: Use proper storage techniques:
After harvesting, proper storage techniques help maintain the quality and freshness of your vegetables. Remove any excess dirt, but don't wash them until you're ready to use them. Store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place, such as a root cellar or refrigerator, depending on the vegetable. Some vegetables, like onions and potatoes, require specific storage conditions, so be sure to research the specific requirements for each type.
Tip 5: Enjoy immediately or preserve
Homegrown vegetables are at their best when consumed shortly after harvest. Take advantage of their peak flavor by incorporating them – cooked or raw – into your meals as soon as possible. If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of vegetables, consider preserving them. Choose from a variety of methods: freezing, canning, pickling, or drying – they may be easier than you expect. This way, you can continue to enjoy your bounty during the off-season.
Be sure to show off your harvest by tagging your product or meals @modsprout.
The Modern Sprout Team