How to Pick Vegetables That are Frozen on the Plant


Late frosts can have a very damaging effect on your garden. If left unprotected, the plants can suffer permanent frost damage and your garden's harvest may even become frozen. Even though the frost-damaged vegetables might not be worth eating, you should still remove them from the plant in order to lessen the stress on the plant itself, according to the University of California. You might be able to salvage some frozen vegetables if you pick them as soon as they freeze.

Step 1

Assess how frozen the vegetables are to the plant. If they are totally encased in a thick layer of ice, you may have to use the hand pruners to cut them off of the plant.

Step 2

Pick any vegetables off of the plant. Hold the vegetable in one hand and twist it until it comes off of the plant. Use the pruners if it is too frozen.

Step 3

Pick all of the frozen vegetables off of the plants to reduce the stress on the plants. Even if the vegetables are not ripe, pick them anyway.

Step 4

Lay the frozen vegetables in your sink and run warm water over them. This will speed up the defrosting process and allow you to assess the damage to each vegetable.

Step 5

Cut each vegetable open to see the extent of the damage on the inside. If the vegetable is frozen through, you may not be able to use it for anything.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners


  • The University of California: Frost-Damaged Plants
  • University of Illinois: Protecting the Home Vegetable Garden from Spring Frost

Who Can Help

  • University of North Carolina: Harvesting Vegetables
Keywords: pick frozen vegetables, frozen vegetables plants, frozen plants

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.