Gardening is one of the most rewarding and mentally enriching activities you can do, not to mention the quality time spent outside working with your hands. In the world of green-thumb enthusiasts, nothing quite beats the moment you can finally reap your produce! You might wonder about the best practices for properly preparing your garden for a harvest. Read on to learn our three most important harvesting tips.

The Lead-Up

If you’re an experienced gardener, you know that a harvest isn’t simply a one-day occurrence—a harvest can sometimes last for a few weeks! Different fruits and vegetables ripen at different times, even within the same plant species. As such, you must monitor your garden every day leading up to the harvest and quickly remove any ready plants.

Harvesting promptly ensures curbs the possibility of rotting produce festering in your garden and spreading diseases and pests to other plants. Only harvest the highest-performing plants, as rotting produce can also impact your other harvests. Furthermore, harvesting plants exactly when they’re ripe increases the flavor of your yield.

Careful Handling

As you slowly remove plants throughout your harvesting period, you must avoid a few things to ensure every fruit and veggie is ready for consumption and/or storage. Mainly, it’s best to limit how aggressively you handle your plants. More specifically, minimize the things you expose your harvested produce to—damaging roots, bruising growing plants, and harming the soil during a harvest can all impact the quality of your produce and garden overall. We recommend taking extra care when harvesting plants by working slowly and steadily. Ultimately, this guarantees a much more successful harvest throughout your garden.

Stay Organized

As more and more plants become ready for harvesting, managing your garden can quickly become stressful. Without proper organization, it’s easy to lose track of which produce is ready, which needs more time, and which is rotting and requires immediate removal.

A disorganized garden inspection is more likely to be unsuccessful, leading to more rotting produce. We highly recommend keeping a journal of your daily garden activities so you have a clear image of what is required over the next few weeks. A log ensures you never miss an important task during the harvest.

Follow these best practices to ensure your garden is properly prepared for harvesting. If you need further help preparing your plot of land, check out our farm irrigation equipment supplies here at Rural Direct.