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June 13th Garden Work Day: Planting Med Sci, and How to Harvest: Radishes, Turnips and Lettuce

June 15, 2013

We decided to focus this garden work day on harvesting, as many of our spring crops were ready to be harvested at Med Sci and we needed to make room for other crops to be planted.

Green and red ettuce almost ready for harvest at Med Sci.

Green and red ettuce almost ready for harvest at Med Sci.

Harvesting lettuce is really easy. There are three main techniques. One is to trim the whole lettuce head with a sharp knife or scissors about 1-1 1/2 inches from the base. With this harvesting technique, you can re-harvest lettuce in 3 to 4 weeks, as it will continue to regrow. This method is good for lettuce varieties like leafy greens or red, which are shown in the image above. If you don’t want to have a continuous harvest of lettuce, use a trowel or knife to sort of pop the head of lettuce out of the dirt, just above the roots. This method is good for hardy large leaf lettuces like romane. The last method, would be good for greens like arugula or spinach, which is the “pick and choose method”. See what greens look the most appealing to you, whether its large greens for cooking or smaller greens for salad, and cut them at the base. You can see all three methods of harvesting on this video. A good tip is to bring a bag or bowl with you to harvest to gather the greens. You can also fill a large bowl or bucket with cool water to soak the greens right after cutting to preserve freshness.

 

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Radishes ready for harvest. Bonnie pulls the radish greens out of the way to show the tops of radishes popping out of the soil.

Radishes are also easy to harvest! Check to see if the radishes are ready for harvest, by pulling the greens out of the way to reveal the tops of the radish. If you can see a good amount of the radish popping out of the soil, as pictured above, they are ready to go.

Example of radish not quite ready for harvest.

Example of radish not quite ready for harvest.

You can tell when turnips can be harvested with the same method of checking how far they are out of the soil.

Turnips reveal themselves popping out of the soil when they are ready for harvest.

Turnips reveal themselves popping out of the soil when they are ready for harvest.

To harvest radishes or turnips grab the greens at the base close to to the root and pull gently with a side to side motion until the veggie comes out of the ground.

Check out these recipes for radishes.  

After harvesting radishes, turnips and some greens we planted squash and peppers in the gaps in the med sci planters.

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