How To: Harvest Your Summer Vegetables
A new season means it’s time to harvest all those remaining summer vegetables and make space for new growth. Read on to discover when and how to pick your vegetables to ensure they’re full of flavour and be inspired to get in the kitchen and use up all those lovely home grown ingredients.
Ripe tomatoes should be a lovely deep shade of red all over and firm to touch but not too soft. Let them ripen on the vine, then store them at room temperature, to ensure you achieve and maintain the best flavour.
For novice gardeners or those new to growing their own vegetables, it can be a little trickier to tell when broccoli is ready for harvesting. Don’t worry too much about size. Instead look at the broccoli florets; they should be puffy and relaxed, rather than tightly bound together. To collect, cut off the head a few inches along the stem, then remove the rest of the plant to make space for new Autumn vegetables.
Once your plant has begun producing, you should check daily for new beans throughout the warmer months. Pick them as soon as they’re ready as this will encourage more to grow. Enjoy your beans as a healthy snack on their own or in a delicious fresh salad.
One of our favourites – sweet corn is ready for harvesting when the silks (the dry threadlike matter at the end of the corn) is dry and brown. If you’re still not sure whether your corn is ready, check the kernels – they should be plump and, when pierced, should produce a pale milky liquid, not too creamy, think ‘soapy water’.
Cucumbers should be a little easier to harvest. Simply let them grow to a reasonable size and pick when they’re firm and smooth.
For summer herbs such as basil, pick as you need and water regularly to ensure they don’t dry out. Find our delicious recipe for homemade pesto here to use up any excess basil.
If you need a little help with your summer harvesting or with starting your own veggie patch, visit us in store and let us help you start growing your own food today.