Harvest the bounty!


Welcome to reason for the season!  Or the work, anyway.  When it’s harvest time, the kids come running.

“I’ll help!  I’ll help!  Let me swim for potatoes!”  Or pull the carrots, or beets.  Harvest time is so much fun, the kids will pull and pluck anything, regardless of whether or not they want to eat it!  Which warms a momma’s heart.  Siblings working together, side by side, eager to be productive and helpful.

Well, in separate rows, that is.  Not only do mine get a little competitive, experts on everything in the garden, critics on everyone else in the garden, they tend toward a love-hate type of relationship.  One minute they’re best friends, encouraging and engaging, the next they’re complaining the other is on their “turf,” touching their “stuff,” or the dreaded, “He’s looking at me…”

But I’m sure your kids are wonderful, and will prove a delightful help in the garden, so take them with you as you reap the fruits of your labor.  Check with your fruit and vegetable resources for the best time to harvest your bounty but keep in mind, there may not be hard and fast rules as to the “when that may be.”

I decided to harvest according to the “days to harvest” information until I realized this varies, depending on which source you used.  I also learned that not all plants are created equally and some mature faster than others.  News flash, right?

So my advice:  start with the days to harvest and take it from there.  Some of my plants kept on producing so I kept on picking.  I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth!  In fact, the experts suggest to pick early and pick often in order to boost your plant’s production.  Works for me!  I even left some of my plants in from last season, just to see what they would do.  I swear–it had nothing to do with the fact that it made for one less row I had to till.

And guess what?  They kept producing!

A friend came by one day and gazed about my garden.  In admiration, I assumed. Then she asked, “The eggplant are still producing?”

I tried to ignore the skepticism in her voice and quipped with pride, “Yep.  Looks like it!”  Granted they were smaller and I haven’t ventured a taste test.  Who knows if they’re actually edible.  Their smaller size could be due to the fact I didn’t water them much, but summertime is vacation time and I was on “garden break.”   They do like nice in the row, though.

And special note to wives:   After you’ve done all the hard work preparing your site, buying your seeds and planting them with care…  You’ve spent your time diligently watering and weeding and find yourself generally satisfied with your progress, when your husband walks up, surveys your garden with hands on his hips and casually asks, “So how much are each of these vegetables actually going to cost?”  You take in a nice deep calming breath, gather your patience and smile.

When his look of expectation remains solidly in place, you then give him the “look.”  You don’t have to remind him this is about more than just producing vegetables, or that it’s about personal reward and satisfaction.   You just give him the “look.”

If he dares to repeat his question, I’ll leave that response to you.


  1. Erica
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 00:18:38

    I want to thank you for all the great advice you give. You make it sound so easy. I began small about two years ago with very few vegetables (tomatoes, asparagus and green bell peppers) that actually grew exception of the tomatoes plants (they didn’t reproduce much). But the Asparagus are still giving and the Green Peppers gave up until last Spring. With that being said, I’m so inspired to just go for it all! I’m willing to plant as many vegetables that I can fit in my space. After all what do I really have to lose (maybe all my hard work) but in the end it is knowing that I did it without fear and just went for it! Thank you for your inspirations. I do have a question, I’m finding it difficult for my vegetables to get that appropriate sun ray they need for growth. I just started seeding and sowing but I am noticing that my garden is getting sun exposure in some areas but not enough to cover my whole garden area. How can I help improve the sun exposure that my garden needs for reproduction.


    • gardenfrisk
      Feb 24, 2012 @ 19:36:51

      If you don’t have the natural sunlight you need, is this an area where you can utilize grow lights, like say, a patio? If it’s outside, are there any tree branches in the way? Can you relocate the garden to a sunnier spot?

      Unfortunately, trying to get more sun to shine can be a difficult proposition. But you can always go “up!” Take a look at your sunny areas and see if you can build a terraced garden, something along the lines of a “tower” structure. You may also want to consider hydropninics. These are the water towers/posts where plants grow without dirt and incredibly fast. Search my website for details.

      Hope this helps and glad you’re gardening! Share the adventure with a friend!


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