The harvest is the exciting end point after the long and enjoyable process of gardening. Sometimes it can be quite obvious when something is ready to harvest – when a tomato or a strawberry turns red, it is the perfect time to pick it. Others can be a little sneaky and so it is hard to really know.
The top tip is look on the seed packet when you sow the seeds. It should tell you how long it takes to reach maturity. Work out when this will be and put it on your calendar. It is normally spot on – give or take a week or so depending on the climate.
Garlic should be nearly at the point of being ready, but it can be hard to tell. Ideally when the bottom third of the leaves have dried up it means it is good to go. But if yours is anything like mine and riddled with orange rust, then carefully digging down and taking a little look is a good idea. If it looks like a fat bulb then dig it up, but if it is looking a little lean, then cover it back up and check again in a week – they do most of their bulking up right at the end.
Potatoes are another one that is hard to tell. Early potatoes are generally ready when they flower, but not all of them do, so keeping track of the days is a good idea. For the main potatoes the sign to dig them up is when all the tops have died down. Having said that – you can have a rummage around and steal a few before you dig the lot up.
Onions are ready when their tops flop over, but they can be taken any time before then if you want to. Immature onions aren’t all that different to spring onions.
And watch your zucchini – they are sneaky and hide until they become marrows.
A lot of vegies can be taken early, (except garlic pumpkins and melons - going too early with them is really disappointing) but it is always best not to leave it too late.
Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to get your recipes in for the Mini Challenge – there are loads already that I want to try, but a few more wouldn’t hurt.
In my garden I am sowing some more seeds. Some are for succession planting, but some are because I finally got my hands on some of the new Yates seeds for this year. It isn’t to late to pop them in and I’m excited to try the Ridge Gourd Luffa and the Zucchetta Tromboncino, but I’m not so sure about the Kerela Bitter Gourd but try everything once and the fun things twice!
I hope you find this helpful.
Happy gardening and as always – if you want to get in touch leave a comment below.
Sarah the Gardener : o)