Thursday, July 8, 2010

Continual Picking and Cutting = Abundance of Vegetables

Once I started gardening in 2004, my knowledge of food increased tremendously.

Sure, I knew what a radish was, but I had no idea what a radish seed looked like, how long a radish took to grow, that its greens became tougher as the radish grew bigger and that small flowers appeared from its greens if the radish stayed in the ground too long.

I’ve also learned that it’s better to keep cutting and picking certain vegetables in order to increase production. For the most part, any vegetable that grows on some sort of vine—cucumbers, string beans, tomatoes, peas, summer squash, etc.—will put its energies into new growth if existing growth is picked.

If older veggies are left on the vine, the plant’s energies will be focused on these, allowing them to get very big, but at the expense of newer growth and flavor (most will get tougher as they get bigger).

I am still amazed at how many dozens of (pick a veggie) a couple plants can put off if I am vigilant about cutting and picking.

The photo above is of yellow squash plants (today at 7:30 a.m.). I cut the squash in the middle, while I'll probably cut the one on the right tonight and the one on the left tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Hey Rob

I'll make a request, if it's not too much trouble. I'd love to see an entry showing video of when you cut and pick, rather than just a pic. Also, show us the next time you cut and pick from the same plant, documenting the time in b/n (referring back to the original post). This will give us a real sense of how long it can go, and then if you mention how long the growing season for that vegetable is, we can then get a sense for how much one plant can give if you remain vigilant.

I know this may be a big task/hassle. Just a suggestion. :)

Thanks as always for what you do!

-Jon (moving from Miami to South Carolina)

Chef Rob said...


As always, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

Check back on Monday for a video of the regrowth of dark leafy greens, which can put off greens for the entire growing season. (Last year I cut purple kale--from the same plants--from June to the first week of December.)