Congrats! You've successfully grown food on your stoop, fire escape or rooftop. We call that a #SeedsheetSuccess. After all of the care you've put into growing your plants, it may be a bit nerve-wracking to think about chopping them down for dinner. On the contrary, most plants need to be continuously harvested from and will grow back in just a matter of days.
Here are some tips for harvesting salad greens, herbs, and tomatoes.
- When your salad greens are about 6" tall, take a clean knife, pair of scissors, or just your clean hands, and pinch off some leaves for lunch. Try to do this in the morning or evening to avoid stressing the plants in the hot sun. Take a few of the outer/largest leaves from each plant in your bucket, harvesting about a third of the greens. Come back in just a couple days, and the smaller leaves will have grown. You'll be harvesting every few days for a while as long as your bucket garden is watered regularly.
- When plants in your Bucket Herbs Kit are about 8" tall and have multiple leaves/stems, it is time to start clipping. Some varieties grow faster than others, so it is important to keep up with cutting so they don't shade out the slower-growing seedlings. Dill and cilantro grow particularly quickly, whereas parsley and chives tend to lag behind. Feel free to start snipping your dill and cilantro to make room for the others.
- Clip about a third of each plant to promote new growth. Check out our posts on each specific variety to see how they differ:
- Tomatoes will be pretty obvious when they are ready to harvest. You won't miss the bright red (or other color) skin! Make sure to pick your tomatoes when the plants are dry to avoid spreading plant diseases. Keep harvesting your tomatoes so the plant can put energy into ripening more fruit. There's nothing like homegrown, freshly picked tomatoes--nature's candy.