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Harvesting Vegetables

When harvest time comes, it comes big-time. For the gardener, the challenge now may be to keep ahead of immensity of vegetables. It's best to take a basket out to the garden every day to see what has ripened. Picking vegetables as soon as they are ripe often encourages the plant to produce more. When you harvest, look out for signs of trouble, such as yellowing leaves or rotting fruit, and remove the problem parts.


S.No. Vegetable When to Harvest How to Store Expected Shelf-life Comments
1. Asparagus third year after planting when spears are 6-9 inches long cold and moist 2 weeks keep upright
2. Basil when leaves are still tender at room temperature 5 days keep stems in water; will discolor if kept in refrigerator for 10 days
3. Beans, Snap about 2-3 weeks after bloom when seeds still immature cold and moist 1 week develop pitting if stored below 40°
4. Beets when 1.25-3 inches in diameter cold and moist 5 months Store without tops
5. Broccoli while flower buds still tight and green cold and moist 2 weeks -
6. Brussels Sprouts when heads 1 inch in diameter cold and moist 1 month -
7. Cabbage when heads compact and firm cold and moist 5 months -
8. Carrots when tops in 1 inch in diameter cold and moist 8 months store without tops
9. Cauliflower while heads still white, before curds "ricey" cold and moist 3 weeks -
10. Corn, sweet when silks dry and brown, kernels should be milky when cut with a thumbnail cold and moist 5 days -
11. Cusumbers for slicing, when 6 inches long cool spot in kitchen 55°F in perforated plastic bags; storage in refrigerator for a few days 1 week develops pitting and water soaked areas if chilled below 40°F; do not store with apples or tomatoes
12. Eggplant before color dulls like cucumbers 1 week develops pitting, bronzing, pulp browning if stored for long period below 50°F