It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for and finally you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of you hard labor! It’s garden harvesting time! One of the greatest things about the square foot garden is that you can have a multitude of different veggies in the box/es you set up. We have over 20 different types of herbs + veggies in our two planter boxes. Once you harvest them, you can free up the space to plant something else in there. You can have fresh veggies growing all the time. Even if you’re planting the same veggies in multiple squares, you can stagger planting them so not everything ripens at the same time. That’s a great way to ensure that you have fresh supply of the vegetables for you and your family to enjoy continuously.
Another point to make here is that some of your plants will be consumed all at once, while others can be harvested and enjoyed over an extended period of time. The first full harvest for us were radishes. They grow super fast, in a matter of weeks from seed to harvest sometimes, if the temperature is right. Once we picked them, we set up new seed blocks and started growing new ones. We’re keeping the the cycle going as we’re picking ripe ones. For others plants, like leafy greens, you can pick away from the plant continuously, until it matures. We’ve been enjoying arugula, lettuce, kale, mesclun greens, from the same plants for over a month now. We pick the largest leaves, and new one grow continuously.
As some of these plants mature, the taste becomes stronger and more bitter. They start flowering, too. That was the case with arugula. Once the temperature changed and it got significantly hotter, the plant sent a bloom stalk from the center. I pulled it all and made some delicious almond arugula pesto with it, courtesy of Chef John.
Many root vegetables take a little longer to mature, as the root might take much longer to grow vs leaves above ground. We learned from our beet experience. The leaves looked fully grown and we assumed that the beet bulb would be ripe as well. When we pulled it, there was no bulb! A friend shared some elderly wisdom with me on this one – according to her mom, mature beet leaves must be picked three times before the bulb is fully formed. I’ve been trimming them and using them in veggie saute and they’ve been delicious. No root yet, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.
Another thing we’re really looking forward to trying are tomatoes. Soon enough though. Also, more veggies coming soon in our backyard. Our first season of backyard garden growing hasn’t been 100% successful, but it’s been 100% rewarding. Nothing beats growing your own food and getting to enjoy it as soon as it’s picked! Happy garden harvesting!