What's The Best Time of Day to Harvest Your Vegetables? - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

What’s The Best Time of Day to Harvest Your Vegetables?

Most gardeners know that there’s a right time and a wrong time to harvest their vegetables. But, what about the best time of day? Believe it or not, harvesting your vegetables at the correct time during the day can make a big difference in terms of taste and quality!

So, what’s the best time to pick your delectable veggies? Keep reading to find out!

Best Time Of Day For Harvesting Vegetables

watering vegetables
Image credits: preechafakmee via Canva

Harvesting vegetables is a process that can be done at any time of day but, there are certain times that are better then others. Here are some tips on when to harvest your crops:

  • The best time for harvesting vegetables is early in the morning before the sun gets too hot. This will help to keep the vegetables fresh and prevent them from wilting.
  • If you can’t harvest in the morning, the next best time is in the evening, after the sun has gone down.
  • Avoid harvesting during midday when the sun is at its strongest – this will cause the vegetables to wilt and lose their flavor.
  • Whatever time of day you choose to harvest vegetables, make sure that you do it shortly before you plan to eat them. This will ensure that they are at their peak of freshness and flavor.

Most Common Garden Vegetables and When to Harvest Them


Basket of green beans
Image credits: Couleur via Pixabay

The best time to harvest beans from your garden is when the pods are plump, and the beans are a deep green color. You can test to see if the beans are ready by gently pressing on the pod. If it gives easily to pressure, then the beans are ready to be picked.

Harvesting too early will result in smaller, less flavorful beans whereas harvesting too late will cause the beans to be tough and dry. Timing is key when harvesting your bean crop!

When harvesting, be sure to leave some of the beans on the plant so that it can continue producing. Also, take care not to damage the plants as you harvest since this can reduce future yields. Once you have harvested your beans, they can be stored in a cool, dry place.

Now, enjoy your fresh, home-grown beans!


Green cucumber on a branch
Image credit: Pavel Talashov via Shutterstock

Cucumbers are a refreshing and versatile vegetable that can be used in all sorts of dishes, from salads to sandwiches. But, when is the best time to harvest them?

The answer may vary depending on the type of cucumber you’re growing. Generally speaking, it’s best to wait until the cucumber is firm but not hard and has reached its full size. If you pick it too early, it may not be as flavorful. On the other hand, if you pick it too late, it may be tough and seedier.

To test for ripeness, simply give the cucumber a gentle squeeze. If it yields to pressure, it’s ready to be picked! Enjoy your freshly harvested cucumbers right away or store them in the fridge for up to a week.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard for june planting
Image credits: Jo Sonn via Unsplash

Harvesting Swiss Chard is best done in the morning, after the dew has evaporated and before the sun gets too hot. Swiss Chard is a cool-weather crop, so it can tolerate some frost. In fact, frost actually improves the flavor of Swiss Chard. For this reason, harvesting in early to mid-fall can produce some of the tastiest Swiss Chard.

You’ll know when this vegetable is ready to harvest when the leaves are a deep green color and are at least six inches long. Cut the leaves about an inch from the base of the plant with a sharp knife. Be sure to leave some of the leaves so that the plant can continue to photosynthesize and produce food for itself.

Harvesting Swiss Chard regularly will actually improve its growth. So, don’t be afraid to cut some of the leaves off each time you harvest. This will also help to keep the plant from getting too big and taking over your garden bed!


Growing tomato plant with straw mulching
Image credits: Spacemouse via Pixabay

Tomatoes are a notoriously finicky fruit and harvesting them too early or too late can lead to flavorless or mealy fruit. So, when is the best time to harvest tomatoes from your garden?

First, take a look at the color of the fruit. Harvesting tomatoes when they are still green will not allow them to ripen properly. You want your tomatoes to be a red color before plucking them off the stems.

Second, give the tomato a gentle squeeze. If it feels soft and yielding, it’s probably ready to be picked.

Finally, take a sniff! Ripe tomatoes should have a nice, fruity aroma.


Growing lettuce
Image credits: Igor Alecsander via Canva

When harvesting lettuce from your garden, it is important to wait until the leaves are fully mature. If you harvest too early, the plant will not have had a chance to develop all of its nutrients. This will result in a less flavorsome crop.

The best time to harvest lettuce is in the morning after the sun has had a chance to warm the leaves. This will make them more tender and easier to eat. You want to cut off the older leaves around the outside and leave the middle untouched so that the lettuce can continue to grow. After harvesting, wash the leaves thoroughly and enjoy!

Happy Harvesting

Now that you know the best time of day to harvest your vegetables, it’s time to put this knowledge to good use! Do you have any tips or tricks for harvesting veggies? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check out our other gardening posts for more helpful information.