The 101 on Harvesting Your Summer Favorites

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If you have taken up the hobby of gardening, then you have likely reaped many benefits that are certainly excelled when on the Paleo diet. With the summer season here, you are probably picking some of the juiciest, most delicious produce straight from your backyard, but as the summer months come to an end, you might find the gardening process, or rather, the harvesting process a bit overwhelming. As a result, some gardeners tend to ignore their plants and don’t realize the ripe produce needs to be picked. This is the absolute opposite thing that you want to happen when you’ve put so much time and effort into growing healthy crops. Don’t let it languish on the vine.

Rule of Thumb

There are a variety of optimum time for harvesting for a variety of produce, and they are extremely important to know and practice. You grow your fruits and vegetables for the incredible, fresh flavor, and you need to be picking them when they’re at their peak. As a general rule of thumb, veggies taste better when they’re young and tender and despite what many people say, bigger is not always better, or in this case, tastier. So, check your crops every day because the majority of them do need to be harvested every day. Here are some additional tips that will help you determine when you should be harvesting your summer veggies.

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Cantaloupe

When a cantaloupe has a crack around the stem next to the fruit, it is ready to be harvested. A slight pull and it should come right off of the stem completely.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are better harvested earlier int he summer, because the seeds keep growing and overripe cucumbers are far from the delicious, watery vegetable that you know them as. Instead, it would be stringy and bitter. So, check on them daily to ensure that they are firm and smooth and pick when needed.

Summer Squash

As mentioned previous, most produce is better harvested when they’re young and tender, and this can be said for summer squash. In fact, the smaller the squash, the better it’ll taste. You never want to lift your squash by the stem, so be sure to cut it off before it gets approximately 8 inches long. The skin should still be soft. Always harvest when the fruit is young and tender because the smaller the squash is when you pick it, the better it will taste.

Tomatoes

One of the most versatile items in your garden is probably the tomato plant. There are also a bundle of different varieties, so be sure to pick them when your tomatoes are evening red. The end should also be firm, as no one enjoys soft, mushy tomatoes. With a gentle twist, you should be able to remove them from the vine, and never refrigerate them as this will take away from the delicious taste.

So, as the summer days come to an end, you might want to start checking and picking more often.

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