How to Harvest Organic Vegetables


The extra work you put into caring for your garden organically begins to pay off at harvest time. It's important to know the proper time to harvest your organic vegetables. If you leave vegetables on your plants too long past the time they're ready to harvest, it can attract insects or disease to your garden. Harvesting your organic vegetables correctly will also affect the size of your yield and the quality of your vegetables.

Step 1

Harvest your leafy vegetables as they become ready through summer and fall. Take leaves from collard greens when they are young. Harvest Swiss chard as the leaves become larger. Cut spinach at the crown to remove the whole plant, or remove individual leaves if your want to promote more growth.

Step 2

Harvest your root vegetables by digging around the root until it is loose and can be pulled from the ground. Beets can be harvested in the spring and the fall, depending on when you planted your seeds, once they reach two inches in diameter. Harvest beets before frost and hot weather. Harvest your carrots before frost when they are three-fourths to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Step 3

Remove vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, peas, beans, squash, tomatoes an asparagus as they reach proper maturity through the summer and fall. Snap off spears of asparagus when they are at least six inches in length and before the flower heads open.

Step 4

Choose eggplants that have turned purplish black to harvest. Harvest eggplant when they are small to medium sized to keep them from getting too tough.

Step 5

Select squash and zucchini to harvest as they reach six inches in length, or when young and tender. Don't let vegetables get too big or they will become tough.

Step 6

Harvest your tomatoes after they turn pink and while still firm. Don't let tomatoes over-ripen on your vines.

Step 7

Select peppers that are green, firm and crisp or let them turn red and then harvest. Harvest pea and bean pods when the seeds are half their full size for peas and one-fourth for beans.

Step 8

Harvest your broccoli heads in the fall when the head is fully formed, but before the flowers open. Use a knife to cut about five inches of stem below the flower head. Remove brussels sprouts as they plump in the fall before the first frost.

Step 9

Harvest your pumpkins and winter squash before the first heavy frost begins by cutting them from their vines.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Scissors


  • When To Harvest
  • University of Georgia: harvesting Vegetables
Keywords: organic vegetables, harvest time, harvesting

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for over 15 years. Coe is the former publisher of the politics and art magazine Flesh from Ashes. She has worked to protect water and air quality. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University.