Use our no-fail guide to harvesting your crops when they're in their prime
Snip while still plump and tight
The artichoke we eat is the flower bud of a giant thistle. Snip the buds, with 1 1/2 inches of stem, while they are still plump and tight. They're inedible after they flower, but you can cut the purple blooms for bouquets, or leave them for the bees.
Artichokes require shears for harvesting--learn more about must-have garden tools.
When their green tops begin to die on their own (usually in early summer), stop watering. Lift the onions when the tops are mostly dead, leaving them to cure on dry ground for a few days. When the tops are totally dry, pull them off. Then brush the dirt off the bulbs and store them in a dark, cool, airy place.
Pinch the flowers as soon as you see them
Pick and use it as needed. You can keep basil fresh by placing the stems in water. Pinch the flowers as soon as you see them developing--this will encourage the plant to keep growing bushy leaves instead of seeds.
Basil is just the