Harvesting Garden Vegetables
The nicest part of growing your own!
Without a doubt the nicest part of growing your own is harvesting your Vegetables. You've nursed them, watered them, protected them and if most has gone to plan, the benefits of all those things will be seen on your Dinner Plate.
Seed packets will always have the 'sow and harvest' times printed somewhere on the pack but it has to be noted that these are just guidelines. The main decider as to when is the right time is usually dictated by our historic British Weather!
With the results you actually see such as Courgettes, Runner Beans, Toamtoes, Broad Beans etc. it's easy - you pick them when they look right, but with the underground varieties such as Carrots it's not so easy.
In the case of Carrots, when the leaves are looking long and the bases of them are pretty thick, pick a few. Even if they are smallish, that will benefit the remainder in so far as they have more space to get bigger and not have to share out any rain or other water.
Beetroot and Onions are easier of course as you'll see the tops appearing.
As with anything not everything always falls into place, you want Salad, the Lettuce and Beetroot are ready but the onions aren't or vice versa, but that's the joy of it, you pick what's there, take it in and cooked or uncooked it's on the table within minutes.
The other thing is in the Storage, this year we're picking Courgettes and Runner Beans and we've still some from last Summer. The answer to this is to swap with fellow Growers, Allotments are the leaders in this and hardly a day goes by when you don't see someone bartering over a swap on Carrots for French Beans or whatever.
The Vegetable YearPages written by my good friend John Harrison
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