"" Family Veggie Garden: HARVESTING YOUR VEGGIES


Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Let's have fun now!
Harvesting your organic vegetables is usually the best part of having an organic garden.  The whole family will usually volunteer to help even if only one or two has actually helped during the growing season.  The harvest time for your organic vegetables varies depending upon the plant with many vegetables ripening all season long. 

It is important that you harvest your vegetables as soon as they are ready instead of letting them stay out in the sun.  Many vegetables will rapidly deteriorate if left out after ripening losing flavor.  They will also become too mushy and tender losing their appeal entirely. 

There are some plants that can be left out after they have ripened or even harvested before they are fully ripe.  The following are a list of typical harvest times for vegetables growing in winter in Southern Africa. Make sure you check your gardens constantly around harvest time since some vegetables will ripen virtually overnight.  Even after you have brought in a large crop keep checking your garden because some vegetables simply produce more vegetables after the first crop is removed.

Woman Harvesting Veggies
Woman Harvesting Veggies


Harvest beets when they are the right size you want. Remember the beet tops can be eaten too!


Harvest carrots when they are crisp.  Younger carrots are tenderer but older carrots are often sweeter.  If you like younger carrots pick them as soon as they are big enough and plant more for a fresh crop.


Harvest garlic when the tops of the bulbs begin turn yellow and dry out.  The bulbs must be put on screens to dry and once they have dried trim the roots close to the bulbs and remove the loose outer sheaths before storing.


Harvest lettuce 50 to 60 days after planting. They can often be harvested before when they are small but they will reach their maximum size in 60 days.


Harvest onions after the tops have fallen down.  After digging them up let the onions air dry for two days before storing. 


Harvest peas when the pod is green and full but still tender.  Pods are usually ready to be harvested a week after the plant flowers.  Harvest regularly.


Harvest radishes from the time that they are the size of large marbles and do not let them get to large.
squash when the plant is between 6 and 8 inches in diameter.  They are usually ready to pick 4 to 8 weeks after the plant flowers.

Swiss chard

Harvest very regularly for continues growth.

Instructions on harvesting vegetables might seem silly but if you do not harvest your vegetables during the correct time frame you will be unable to use them later.   Do not let all of your hard work go to waste.
Vegetables that require thinning or constant harvesting make sure you or a family member harvest the vegetables once a day or once every other day.  If you do not harvest the vegetables often the plants will soon become inactive. 

Keep on adding items to your compost pile. You will need lots of compost in future.

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