Beans (Snap): Pick when the pods are almost full size, but before the seeds begin to bulge. Never pick beans that are wet or have dew on them.
Beets: Pick the greens when the leaves are 4 to 6 inches long. If you want to use the tops or small beets, pick when the beets are 1 to 11/2” in diameter. If you want to use the roots only, pick when the roots are 11/2” to 3” in diameter.
Broccoli: Pick when flower heads are fully developed, but before flower buds start to open. Cut 6 to 7 inches below the flower heads.
Brussels Sprouts: Pick when sprouts at the base of the plant have become solid. Remove sprouts (buds) higher on the plant as they become firm, but do not strip the leaves, as they are needed for further growth. They tend to taste better if harvested after the first fall frost.
Cabbage: Pick when the cabbage head has become solid. Leave older leaves, stems and roots to produce small, lateral heads later in the season.
Carrots: Pick when roots are 1/2 to 1 inch or more in diameter. If you want to store carrots, pull them just before the ground freezes in the fall.
Cauliflower: Pick when curds (flower heads) are 6 to 8 inches, but still are compact, white, and smooth. Curds that are exposed to sunlight become cream colored, rough, and coarse in texture. Therefore, cover curds when they are 3 to 4 inches across by tying the outer cauliflower leaves loosely above the curds.
Celery: Pick when the plants become 12 to 15 inches tall. When the plant is still young and tender, the lower leaves (8 to 10 inches long) may be removed from a few plants and used in salads, soups or cooked dishes.
Cucumbers: Pick burpless cucumbers when they are 10 to 12 inches long. For sweet pickles, pick cucumbers when they are 11/2 to 21/2 inches long. For dill pickles, pick when the cucumbers are 3 to 4 inches long. For slicing, pick cucumbers when they are 6 to 9 inches long and are bright green and firm.
Endive: Pick when plant is 10 to 12 inches across and after blanching the center leaves of the plant by covering or tying loosely to exclude light for 2 to 3 weeks.
Garlic: Pull the garlic when tops begin to bend over or die.