How to Grow: Harvesting Vegetables

Care for your veggies by watching this video to learn when and how to harvest beans, cucumbers and zucchini.


Summertime is veggie time in the garden. Harvesting veggie sometimes can be a little confusing. For certain vegetables, like tomatoes and pumpkins, you can tell they’re ready to be harvested because they turn the right color for that fruit. Other vegetables, like broccoli, you know the head is big so you probably can harvest it. Even for root crops you can dig around a little bit and see that they’re underneath there and they can pull them up. But there’s certain vegetables that you need to harvest early and often. Those would be beans, cucumbers, summer squash, and zucchini.


There’s a couple reasons why you want to do it that way. For beans, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini their whole purpose in life is to produce a mature seed. So, if you let that fruit get too big that produces a mature seed and it sends a message back to the plant to not produce more fruit. It really kind of slows down its production. If you keep picking fruits when they’re small that tells it to keep sending out more fruit to get a mature seed. Also those small fruit are really tasty and you can keep on top of the harvest. So let’s go through those big three and I’ll show you the different ones and when to harvest them.

For zucchini, I like to harvest them when they’re small and the flowers are actually still attached. If you let them get a little bit bigger, like this one here, it’s going to have mature seeds in them so it’s going to be seedy and a little harder to work in the kitchen. For cucumbers pick fruits anywhere between two to six inches long is ideal. If you let them get too big, they might get bitter and really tough. For bush beans, well, it’s really simple. You just take a look at the bean. If it’s got little bumps on it that means they’re seeds in it and it might be a little too tough to harvest. But if it’s really smooth, that’s when I like to pick. The small beans are really nice. If you have leafy greens, pick the  bottom leaves first, like kale for example. Picking those lower leaves allows the top to continue to grow so you get a big harvest.

Knowing when to harvest your crops will really help you get more crops and tastier ones, too.