Harvesting leafy vegetables: the more you harvest, the more they grow!


This is probably the first year for us to grow so many different leafy greens. We have only grown Shanghai choy and arugula before, but this year we are also growing a few types of lettuce, amaranth, komatsuna, shungiku, prize choy (bok choy).

We are not very confident about when we should harvest some of the leafy vegetables, but it seems to me that the more often we harvest them, the more we get out of each plant.

These are leaf amaranthus. We have planted two kinds, red and green. They are said to grow up to 1m in height, but they can also be eaten as baby leaves.

At the moment, the biggest one is about 30cm tall. They look very tasty, so we harvest the larger leaves and use them in stir-fries.

This is romaine lettuce. If we continue to grow these they may fold into a head, but we are going to eat them by stripping off the outer leaves.

These are frilled lettuces. 

We are gradually harvesting the outer leaves. Lettuce takes a long time to grow to a certain size, so it is nice to be able to harvest it over a long time.

The more we harvest the arugula, the more leaves it will grow. I try to remove the flower buds as soon as I see them, as the flowers make it difficult for the leaves to grow and make the taste bitter. Picking up their flower buds allows you to harvest for a longer time.

This is not classified as a leafy vegetable. It is actually a herb: Korean Shiso (the yellow flowers on the right are courgettes). The more leaves you harvest, the more they grow, and the more leaves they put on. It’s hard to keep up with the eating!

By the way, although it’s already July, we still have so many leaf amaranth seedlings waiting to be planted in the ground. However, leafy vegetables are good to eat at any stage of the growth, so we are relaxed about these. It’s not like fruit type vegetables when you need to wait for their fruit to harvest, though you can still eat the leaves of some fruit vegetables such as peppers.

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