Harvest Tips for the Freshest Vegetables

Most vegetables reach their peak flavor when they're young and tender. Try these strategies for the freshest, tastiest home-grown vegetables.
Beans, Broccoli, and Carrots

Beans

Green Beans

If you plant in mid- to late spring, beans continue to set through most of the summer if you keep picking them. For best flavor, pick them when they are thinner than a pencil.

Test Garden Tip: For variety, harvest some immature, or baby, beans and add them to salads. They have a slightly different flavor when they're young.

 

Broccoli

Don't wait for the broccoli in your garden to get as big as the ones you see at the grocery store to pick them; home-grown plants rarely reach that size. Cut the primary crown (where the individual heads come together) when it's about 4 inches across.

Test Garden Tip: Give your broccoli an extra dose of plant food and a crop of new flower heads will start to form where the leaves join the main stem.

 

Carrots

Carrots

Carrots are fully ripe when their shoulders reach up out of the ground and the leaves turn a rich, darker green than they were during the growing season.

Test Garden Tip: If you get impatient, you can harvest carrots as soon as they're large enough to eat. Plant extra so you can harvest baby carrots during the growing season while you wait for them to fully mature.

 
Continued on page 2:  Corn, Melons, and Okra