As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank. During these difficult times, the Oregon Food Bank welcomes your donations.
OSU is also offering its vegetable gardening class online.
When planted at an optimum time, some vegetables will be ready to harvest in short order. Radishes and some leafy greens, such as arugula, are fast growing. Fast-growing plants can be replanted after harvest, a practice called succession planting. Other plants, such as carrots and kale, can be planted in the spring for a summer harvest and then planted again in late summer for winter and spring harvesting. Garlic is planted in the fall for harvesting in June.
Harvesting guidelines for basil, beans, and beets:
Basil is harvested July-September. Harvest when leaves are 3-6”, and deep green or purple. Harvest a few leaves at a time to encourage growth, and pinch off flowers. Basil can be stored seven days in a cup of water, like cut flowers, or in an airtight bag in the fridge, or blended with veggie oil and frozen in ziploc bag.
Snap beans (green beans) can be harvested July-September. Spread out the harvest season by planting rows two weeks apart. Harvest when thick as a pencil, but before pods fill out. Hold the plant and pull bean off with other hand. Harvest encourages growth. Be sure to look underneath leaves. If you miss some pods and they fill out, let them dry on the plant, then save and replant next year. Store fresh beans for seven to ten days in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Beets can be harvested June-March. Watch for “shoulders” where the tops of the beet protrude a bit above the soil line. Beets are edible at any size; smaller is more tender. To harvest, wiggle or loosen soil with a trowel. Beet greens are edible; cook as you would any greens. Don’t wash beets before storing. With greens, store one to two weeks in a bag in the fridge. Without greens, they’ll keep three to five months.
Next up: Harvest broccoli, cabbage, and carrots