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10 Tips for Harvesting Your Kitchen Garden

6. Preserve the harvest. Harvest time is also preservation time. My favorite method of preservation is lacto-fermentation. It’s simple, inexpensive, doesn’t use any heat or electricity, and enhances the flavors and nutrition of your harvest. However, some crops do better with freezing, canning, or dehydrating.

7. Don’t waste. After a small farm harvest, I once saw a pile of cut beet leaves withering in the early fall sun, discarded from their beetroot bases. What a waste! Beet leaves can be prepared or preserved exactly the same as chard and taste similar. The same goes for kohlrabi leaves which are similar to kale.

8. Eat your weeds. Many of the “weeds” that afflict gardeners are actually tasty, nutritious greens. Here in California, wild mustard and wild radish, both robust growers and members of the brassica family, love to move in on disturbed soil—call them volunteer crops. In the Northeast, lambsquarter is a particularly tasty “unwelcome” guest. If you want to increase your fall harvest, see if you can eat your weeds.

9. Remember to rotate your crops. Make a note of which crops were in which rows, and rotate crops at the next planting season to boost the quality of your soil and the resistance of your garden to pests. For instance, beans are nitrogen fixers so it’s a good idea to follow them with a non-nitrogen fixing crop.

10. After the harvest, apply a green mulch. Harvest time is the time to think about soil improvement for the next growing season. Sow cover crops like vetch, clover, or rye (or others). This will preserve your topsoil from wind and rain while fixing nitrogen and adding organic matter at the same time, preserving and enriching your soil for the next round of crops.

Related:
In the Fall Garden: 5 Plants to Plant & 5 Projects to Make
7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food
Vegetable Garden Basics

Read more: Conservation, Feng Shui & Organizing, Food, Household Hints, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, , , , ,

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62 comments

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10:08AM PDT on Jul 4, 2011

thanks.

2:41AM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Here's my latest, I just planted my potatoes. I dragged out one of the 55 gallon plastic garbage cans. Then, I got my left over soli from the baskets and odd an end containers I used before and put about 8 inches of soil in the can. Then, those small potatoes I had been saving that were about to start budding went on top of the soil. One more container of soil on top of the potatoes. As the potatoes start to root, they also start to make their bush. As the bush getts taller, you add more soil. You keep this up until your bush is saticking out of the can and starts to die back. You should be able to empty the can and harvest your potatoes. When you empty the can, just DUMP IT on your drive way or someplace you can chovel up the sild and save it in the can for other use. Just a little Tatter Trick I learned. This works great for peanuts as well. I LOVE fresh grown peanuts but thats another story. They go in perserve jars great after boiling by the way

8:45PM PST on Jan 30, 2011

Thanks for the tips!!

12:35AM PST on Dec 23, 2010

I live in tropical zone and have no idea about harvesting in different season. Most of the crop could be grown in all seasons. Anyway, the article is so lovely, thank you.

9:59AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

Wonderful!!

6:57PM PST on Dec 12, 2010

Thanks for the info.

5:07AM PST on Nov 27, 2010

My Porch garden is so cute and looks so yummy, I can hardly wait to eat them. I found a bowl at the Goodwill a few days ago that looked like a Mexican hat but it had a small bowl where the top of the hat was and a recessed area around in the brim. It is Perfect for my Jalapena plants, so cute. I have found when my body needs something, it starts craving it. For the last 4 months I have been craving Jalopenas. My arthritis has been giving me fits. Finally realized I NEEDED the peppers for the pain. I can up with a great recipe. 2 blocks of cream cheese, 1/2 cup finely chopped peppers, cup of bacon bits, 1/2 C. dehydrated onions. Mix well. Beat two eggs and in another bowl add 1 1/2 C flour ( self rising) to 1 1/2 Bread crumbs. Use 2 teaspoons to make small balls, dip in egg, then roll in bread/flour mixture. Freeze for a few hours. Heat oil( very hot) in deep pot, drop in bacon/pepper balls. They will brown quickly. Use slotted spoon to take out and place on paper towels. This is a Serious Yum Yum and helps you stop hurting. Dyan

4:49AM PST on Nov 27, 2010

Thanks for the tips!

9:06PM PST on Nov 14, 2010

Great info and ideas for next year's garden and the future. Watching things grow makes me excited!

7:03PM PST on Nov 10, 2010

i'll keep this in mind...

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