The summer is in full swing which means, by now your plants have been growing for a while and they are producing crops. How do one know when it is time to harvest? Some fruits and vegetables are easier than others to identify for picking readiness. You may know already that when strawberries or tomatoes (with few exceptions) turn red, they are ripe and ready for eating. But what about vegetables that grow underground? The root vegetables like carrots, radishes or beets? We can’t see them! There are some signs that are helpful to know. When root veggies achieve maturity or ripeness, a small part of their edible root is pushed above ground. When a root veggie is showing it’s ‘shoulders’, it is a good indicator that the veggie is ready to be pulled out.
Different varieties of all fruits and veggies, have different length of days to maturity from the time of planting the seed. That is why, it is important to record the date when the seeds were planted and follow the instructions on the seed pocket. It will indicate ‘days to maturity’ which can be used to calculate the date your veggie will most likely be ready.
Why most likely? Well, because there are many factors that can affect the growing time of our veggies; the temperature, amount of water and sun they will receive, influence of pests and diseases can all slow down, or even terminate the process. Fruits and veggies need lots of care, warm and safe conditions to thrive and grow to be strong and healthy, just like us! Once we help them to achieve that, in turn they will provide us with vitamins and nutrients, not to mention a lot of flavor in many delicious ways to enjoy them.