Questions about when and how to harvest crops.

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18
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6answers
9k views

Which leaves should I harvest in a mint plant?

I am trying to grow mint. I did repot the plant cutting away excess roots. I placed the plant where it gets direct sunshine for about half a day and water the plant occasionally. It does pretty well ...
18
votes
3answers
856 views

How does one determine when to pick corn?

Last year I grew a little stand (4x4) of short-season corn. I hand-pollinated it and everything was growing great. But I waited a little too long, I guess, and when I picked it, my corn tasted ...
18
votes
1answer
956 views

My second year garlic has flowers. Is it safe to eat?

Apparently I didn't find all my garlic bulbs last fall and they grew to 4 feet tall this spring. They have a large, white flower head. I want to try cooking with it, but don't want to risk my ...
17
votes
2answers
204 views

Harvesting rhubarb

I've got a big, lovely rhubarb plant in my yard which I'd hope to be able to harvest a few different times over the course of a summer. How should I harvest my rhubarb to encourage it to regrow ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

Do peppers change color when left on the plant?

My mother and I purchased some pepper plants from Costco. The info card they came with (which identifies them as Capsicum annuum bell peppers†) depicts vibrant red bell peppers. However, they've ...
14
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the right way to pick peppers so the plant keeps producing?

Does it matter where on the stalk you cut or remove the fruit off the plant so that you don't suck away its future earning potential? Let's take the photo here, of a Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum), ...
14
votes
1answer
545 views

What happens to a broccoli plant after it has been decapitated?

Does it generate a new head? Or is it then done for the year? What can I do to encourage larger heads?
13
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I know when to harvest my potatoes?

I'm sure I've heard before that the time to harvest potatoes is when the flowers fall off. Is that right or is it more complicated than that? For example, does it differ based on climate or variety, ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How often should I harvest herbs?

I have a few herbs growing hydroponically (basil, chives, cilantro) that are about 4 weeks old. Right now they are about 4-5" tall and have a health glow and smell to them. The herbs are being held ...
12
votes
3answers
420 views

Should I remove fruits afflicted with blossom end rot?

A few of my peppers are, it seems, suffering blossom end rot - first identified a week or two ago - this is based on the descriptions on the condition elsewhere on the site, but here's a few pics to ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Are the seed pods of giant sunflowers normally empty?

So, I'm attempting to harvest sunflower seeds from some giant sunflowers I planted an age ago. Unfortunately, there's nothing inside the seed pods! I believe the sunflower was a 'giant', it may ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

When will my tomatoes be ready to harvest?

I am planning to serve homemade tomato soup for a large dinner party on Sept 24, 2011 (42 days from this posting). This dinner is really important to me; so important, that I decided to plant my own ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the best way to cut leaf lettuces?

The last few years I've had success growing romaine and other leaf lettuces. I usually try to harvest only as much as we need for a day (or couple days). That often means just a few leaves at a time ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are my tomatoes tasteless?

I have a taste problem this year with my greenhouse tomatoes. I've grown a mix of varieties (moneymaker plus a couple of others) indoors and they've all come out nothing like as tasty as in previous ...
12
votes
1answer
191 views

How do I encourage my Florence fennel to produce fat bulbs?

I have some Florence fennel in my garden that tends to grow very fast in height and to make flowers, but the base stays relatively thin. What should I do to encourage the growth of a "fat" bulb in ...
11
votes
1answer
755 views

Should I pick my peppers early or wait till they mature (ripen) on the plant?

I planted a small assortment of pepper plants a month ago, and I have a couple of small jalapeño and anaheim peppers hanging off of their respective plants. I'm wondering if I should go ahead and pick ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I know when garlic is ready to be harvested?

I planted some garlic this spring and I am now wondering when I should harvest it. (I planted them between 60 and 90 days ago -- not quite sure when I put them in.) I pulled up one the other day and ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I tell if my apples are ready to harvest?

I have a young apple tree (Spartan) with a small number of nice sized apples. How can I tell if they are ready to harvest?
10
votes
2answers
175 views

Can I harvest beetroot early as “micro beetroots”?

I bought a pack of beetroot seeds today, but there are a lot more than I thought (250). Seems like farm sort of quantities far more than my window sill can hold. Anyway, I had the idea to grow them ...
10
votes
2answers
305 views

How should I harvest Basil leaves as to be least harmful to the plant?

I have a small basil plant similar to this one: Mine's actually a bit smaller, but well. I cut leafs off it for cooking but I try to keep the plant healthy by not using up more than can grow back. ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Why did my basil leaves turn black?

I picked a bunch of basil last week so we could put up some pesto. I brought the leaves inside, washed them, and set them on the counter in the kitchen while gathering other ingredients for pesto ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Does cauliflower produce secondary growth after the main harvest?

Will cauliflower do anything after you pick the main flower like broccoli or should I just pull the whole plant out when I'm harvesting?
10
votes
2answers
467 views

How do I encourage lemongrass to produce a strong stalk for culinary use?

I am growing some lemongrass (in a pot) and it's doing very well so far: over the past month, it went from a stump, to about 20-30cm high, with long thin leaves. My question is: what the best way to ...
10
votes
1answer
984 views

How do I tell if a Green Fig is ripe?

There is a Kadota (I think) fig tree in our yard - the fruit is massive, slightly squishy, and the holes at the bottom of the figs are starting to open and they're starting to pale. How do I tell if ...
10
votes
1answer
215 views

Can I harvest celery a stalk at a time?

I've got a chicken in the pot and some (young) celery plants in the garden. Will it damage the plant if I go out and cut a couple of the (small) outer stalks to add a little extra flavor?
9
votes
1answer
215 views

My broccoli has started to head up. Anything I should know?

First time broccoli planter. A couple of my plants have just started to form heads, is there anything special I need to do? How do I know when its ready? Also, what is the proper way to harvest ...
9
votes
1answer
385 views

Should I lift my onion crop?

Looks like my onion crop is done (end of August). The green part has died right back and I've got just the bulb sat a little way into the soil. I don't have a good rodent-proof cool dry dark outdoor ...
9
votes
1answer
278 views

Which types of broccoli are cut-and-come-again?

I grew two types of broccoli this year. One was monaco I think, and the other one I'm not sure about (maybe calabrese?). We started harvesting the monaco more than a month ago and per this question ...
9
votes
1answer
170 views

How to prolong Cauliflower growing season, harvest?

I love fresh cauliflower, but it's so terribly temperature / light sensitive that I might as well just pick it all and freeze it if I actually want to eat it. Is there anything I can do to ensure ...
9
votes
1answer
412 views

Should I earth up my radishes to prevent them from being eaten or should I pull them out?

My back yard lacks a bit of sunshine so things don't grow as fast, but they do grow. I've recently planted radishes for the first time and they have already started pushing out of the ground, however ...
8
votes
7answers
317 views

When to harvest chilis? What happens if I don't? How can I store them?

My last chili experiment was some 5 years ago, when the dried results started to use up. So I went to buy 2 chili plants (habanero & jalapeno, both F1 hybrids) this European spring - and the ...
8
votes
3answers
228 views

Storing apples - how do I improve my success rate?

Here's my apple store a few weeks after I put them into storage: As you can see, already quite a high failure rate. And even for the apples which still look sound as of today, are they still at ...
8
votes
2answers
108 views

Harvesting beans to prolong cropping - but how thorough do I need to be?

It is said that if you let your runner/french beans reach full maturity, the plant stops producing. So I harvest my beans (even if only to throw/give them away) regularly to prolong cropping. How ...
8
votes
2answers
869 views

Does it matter if my cabbage forms its heart some way off the ground?

My cabbages have been growing strongly, but until recently mostly big loose leaves, not hearts. Now they're beginning to heart up, but some way up the stalk and off the ground (about 12-15cm up the ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How do you tell when pumpkins are ready to harvest?

I have several large pumpkins on a vine but am not sure when to pick them. I have heard they are similar to potatoes in that you wait till the vine starts to die before harvesting.
7
votes
2answers
329 views

Duration of harvest season from Bush Bean plants?

Was wondering what a typical duration of production for a conventional bush bean is. I know a lot of factors such as how well the plants are cared for and heat can play into it. Here in the ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

When and how should I harvest galangal?

I was given some galangal a couple of years ago, which is now thriving in my garden. Is there a best time/season to harvest galangal, and can one just retrieve a small portion of the rhizome as ...
7
votes
1answer
960 views

How many spears can I expect from an average asparagus plant ready for harvest?

Pictures of young asparagus plants seem to indicate multiple spears will come from a single plant. But pictures of mature plants are harder to interpret. I want to know so that I can determine how ...
7
votes
1answer
39 views

Can pak choi be re-grown?

I know that pak choi can be grown as a "cut and keep" plant, but can I regrow it from the base of the plant, as can be done with celery? If so, how?
7
votes
1answer
150 views

Mushrooms sprouting for the first time, should I gather them or let them be?

In the spring I "sow" some mushrooms in a shady part of my garden - Blewitt (Lepista nuda), Wine Cap (Stropharia rugosoannulata) and Elm Mushroom (Hypsizygus ulmarius). The mushroom spawn I sow came ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I tell when an eggplant is ready to be picked?

In the past I've had eggplant in my garden but my parents had always taken care of harvesting them since I don't eat it. This year I'm growing a couple for them and have some fairly large fruit on the ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

How long does Spinach produce?

I am gardening for the first time, and so far so good! We have planted a few spinach plants, and have harvest three times from them in the last month. How long will the spinach continue to grow and ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

How much of a kale plant must be left when harvesting outer leaves?

This is our first year growing kale and although it is not large enough to harvest yet, it has been growing rapidly during the last two hot weeks. When it reaches a size that we are able to begin ...
6
votes
2answers
194 views

How do I use sassafras?

I have a lot of sassafras growing, and they drop a lot of branches. I have been piling them up and burning them, and using the ashes in the garden. Is there a way to use the branches like propagation ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

When are ground cherries ripe?

I've got some Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries fruiting on me, but I don't know when to pick them. I've never planted them before. I've picked a few and they don't taste very good so I'm thinking ...
5
votes
2answers
51 views

Can I still use the mint leaves after the plant has flowered?

I have been gone a few weeks. Now my mint has all flowered. Can I still use the leaves? I want to make a batch of mint jelly.
5
votes
2answers
133 views

End of the Season Mint

Well I have two parent mint plants and both of them lost all of their leaves and sprouted up about 50 new sprouts that are growing great, but the original parent plants still don't have leaves. Should ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Should I just trim the leaves when I harvest my herbs?

In the past, I grew some herbs which I harvest them when I see them grow out of space. Then I just cut the whole stem, then the plant will split in 2 ways growing in a Y shape. The next time it grew ...
4
votes
1answer
648 views

How can I determine when to pick a cucumber that is spiny?

We have a friend who occasionally brings us vegetable plants, as she has her own garden/farm thing that she cultivates plants to sell to restaurants. This time around, she brought us some tiny red and ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

What should I do with unharvested berries on my loganberry plant?

I've inherited a loganberry bush, and failed to harvest a crop of berries before they shriveled up. What should I do now? Is there any benefit in picking them anyway? Would that encourage a new crop? ...