I got so much fabulous info from my last top 5 post – Things I don’t know about preserving, that I thought I’d continue the theme, only this time I would concentrate on harvesting. A lot of the other inspiration for this post has come from L from 500m2 in Sydney who not only enlightened me about when to harvest blueberries but also shares my frustration with parsnips that break during harvest. Which not particularly co-incidentally is my number 1 this week.
- How do you harvest parsnips? Carrots I find are usually nice and easy to harvest, generally coming away from the dirt they are in relatively easily. Not so parsnips, which seem to cling to the soil and quite often break half way down. Much like the large one in the photo below. So how do you do it? How do you harvest parsnips to ensure they emerge from the soil unscathed and ideally free from fork damage?
- Does cutting some coriander leaves encourage it to bolt? It seems that everytime I start harvesting from a coriander plant it seems to bolt not long after. Now this might be more about the tendency of coriander to run to seed in Melbourne’s climate but I wonder if the very act of ‘pruning’ it is accelerating the process.
- Does bandicooting potatoes effect total yield? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘bandicooting’ it basically means: to rummage around in the ground looking for early harvests while the plant is still growing. I have often wondered if this process affects total yield. I imagine that the yield is spread across the bandicooting period but is it affected beyond that. Do you get less potatoes (or more) if you disturb it by bandicooting?
- Will cabbages and cauliflowers ever regrow after harvest? Lots of plants can be treated as cut and come again. Lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel and so on. With some of these you are only cutting part of the plant, but with others you can harvest pretty much all of it and it will still regrow (I am thinking about celery and fennel in particular here). My question is what about cabbage and cauliflower? Do they regrow at all? Or simply take too long to bother waiting for? Or is there some other reason you don’t hear about it happening?
- How can you tell if a melon is ripe? Now this last one is part ambition and part hope. I have yet to successfully grow a melon. As in, have a vine set a fruit. Admittedly I haven’t tried very often and those times I have I haven’t really had them in the right place to succeed. I am considering trying again this year though. And if I do, and if one sets, how will I know when to pick it?
And now that I have revealed my ignorance on these harvesting issues and dilemmas I await your wisdom.