You spend all spring and summer working hard to grow your veggies so you want to make sure you pick them when they are at their best. When vegetables are in their prime you will experience the greatest flavor and nutrition they have to offer.
As a general rule you should try to harvest in the morning before the searing sun bears down on your plants. Also make sure to pick your veggies on a regular basis. Leaving ripened vegetables on the vine leads to rotting which attracts disease and insects into your garden. When you stop picking this also signals the plant to stop production,the more you pick the bigger your harvest will be.
Pick when the pods snap readily. Pick often and don’t let the pods get too long.
Trick is to not let them get too big. Best size is small to medium for sweetness.
Also sweeter when small. They should be firm and crisp. Remove most of the green leaves after digging to help keep the carrot’s sweetness and moisture.
Pick when the silk begins to dry out and turn brown. Your corn is no longer fresh if pinching a kernel does not produce a milky juice.
Many varieties therefore many sizes at maturity. Pick when the color is still a fresh green and the cukes are firm.
Harvest when the leaves start to turn dry and yellow. If you allow your garlic to bloom, your bulbs will be smaller.
Pick when young for tenderness and sweetness. The leaves should be bright green and crisp. By cutting the outer leaves only rather than cutting the entire plant you can prolong your harvest. When leaves get too old they become bitter.
Gently cut each leave starting from the outside. Young leaves are best and once the weather turns hot your lettuce will loose it’s quality quickly.
When picking leave a few inches of the stem attached to the squash. The rind should be hard enough that your fingernail can no longer pierce it.
Sugar Snap Peas:
Pick your peas when the pods are at maximum length but still flat ( no bumps along the pod ). Do not let the pods turn yellow.
Pick as soon as they reach their full color. Leave them at room temperature with the stem side up. Best not to put them in the fridge.