Are you hard at work in your vegetable garden? Or is growing vegetables a completely new adventure? It's always important to think about what you're going to do with your harvest. If you want to make delicious meals right away, then set up a cutting vegetable garden! This type of vegetable garden doesn't leave you with a massive harvest that you have to pack into the freezer. A cutting vegetable garden lets you set the tastiest and freshest dishes on the table. These tips will give you a hand to get started.
Plan out your vegetable garden
As you know, you can start a vegetable garden anywhere and in lots of different ways. Whether you opt for a large vegetable garden planter, a couple of fruit trees in a pot or you push the limits, vegetable gardening is always a great activity. Especially when you get to spend the summer enjoying delicious fruit and vegetables. You don't necessarily have to harvest everything at once — start off by creating a genuine cutting vegetable garden. Plan your vegetable garden so that your fruit and vegetables can be left for longer and only picked when you're ready to eat them. Here are some tips to change your vegetable garden into a cutting vegetable garden.
- Tip 1: Don't plant too many of the same crop; choose a whole range of different types of fruit and vegetables. For example, create several planting areas in your vegetable garden or flower pot. This way you'll never have an excess that you have to give away or store.
- Tip 2: If you want to plant the same crop in several areas, plant them at different times. For example, you can start planting a number of lettuce crops every two weeks so that you can enjoy fresh salads for longer.
- Tip 3: Since vegetable gardens are often plucked clean when the crop is harvested, always plant seeds from a different plant family to replace them. By changing the crop each time you plant, you can prevent diseases, pests and weeds
When and how can I harvest?
Every type of fruit and vegetable has its own planting and harvesting period. It also takes different amounts of time for the seeds to grow, plus of course the weather plays a very important role. Warmer weather will make the crops grow faster and mean that they are ready to harvest sooner. For a lot of vegetable types, it is obvious when they are ready to be harvested. For example, you can harvest beetroot and radishes as soon as their heads start to peep out of the ground. For other vegetables, you have to look at what colour and how strong their leaves are. If the leaf looks sturdy, fresh and green it's usually time. You don't want to let vegetables that grow above ground grow too big, as they can lose their taste. Harvest them as soon as you see that the vegetables are big enough and are a good colour. Fruit and root vegetables are perfect for a cutting vegetable garden. You can leave these for longer and harvest them whenever you want.
It's still best to harvest them at different times. Obviously, a cutting vegetable garden is perfect for letting you harvest whenever you want fresh fruit and vegetables. But another advantage is that picking and harvesting just some of the fruits and leaves can stimulate new growth. You could spend the summer nibbling on juicy strawberries or healthy courgettes. Every time that you pick a few, the plant will start to grow some more to replace them. Pick, cut or prune the fruit and leaves away with a sharp gardening tool in the morning on days that are not too hot. At night, the fruit restores itself after a day full of sunshine. Harvesting in the morning also helps you prevent damage. And then all you have to do is enjoy!