• GrowNYC Education

Harvest How-To Guide

Learn how and when to harvest your garden crops! Return to this post as we'll keep updating it with additional crops.

Crops included so far:

  • collard greens

  • swiss chard

  • kale

  • eggplant

  • mint

  • chives

  • parsley

  • basil


Collard Greens

Harvest from the outside in (the leaves on the outside of the plant are the oldest and largest). Snap off the stems. Clean the plant of brown or holey leaves as you go. Leave the inner leaves to continue growing.


Swiss Chard

Similar to collard greens above, harvest the bigger leaves on the outside, get rid of leaves that are going brown, and leave the inner leaves to keep growing. By removing the bigger outer leaves, you'll be exposing the inner leaves to more sunlight!


Kale

A lot of leafy greens are the same - harvest from the outside in, and snap off the stems. Leave the inner leaves to keep growing.



Eggplant

Different varieties of eggplants can grow to different sizes, so first find out what the mature size for your variety is. Then, look for one that is matte (instead of glossy or shiny) and not to hard when you press on it. Snap it off at the stem.


Mint

Mint likes to be harvested because it encourages more vigorous growth, so you should harvest about once a week or so depending on how fast it grows back. With herbs, it's best to use scissors or shears to make a clean cut which will make it easier to grow back. You can cut off the top half of the mint stem.



Chives and Garlic Chives

Basically, give it a haircut! Cut off everything from the bottom of the plant, leaving just a couple inches of stem for it to grow back. Makes nice bunches!


Parsley

Harvest the stems on the outside of the plant. Cut toward the bottom of the stem. Leave some of the newer, inner stems because those are the ones that will keep growing and become the next harvest in a couple weeks.


Basil

Harvest the top 1/3 of the plant. Cut off right above one of the nodes (the spot where the stem branches out) because that will encourage new growth.



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