The harvest glut of spring and summer

Why is it that everything comes to fruition at once? This can be just the nature of a particular crop or fruiting plant, or it can be due to planting excessive amounts of one crop all at the same time. 

To avoid the harvest glut there are a couple of things you can do to extend your cropping. Plan by practising successive sowing and planting. This is where you only plant a few seedlings of a particular vegetable or green every 2-3 weeks. With this staggered planting will come staggered crop maturity.

Sometimes even with the best of planning and the glut still occurs what can you do?
Most of your excess fruit, vegetable and herbs will happily be preserved via either;
•    Freezing
•    Drying or preserving
•    Or via some of the tried, true and tested forms of preserving such as jam and jelly making, pickling and chutneys

A lot of herbs and vegetables can also be preserved in oil and vinegar.
You can of course also gift your excess produce to family, friends and neighbours. There are also great community gardens in your local areas where you can learn, grow and share with your local community of gardeners. 

The idea of having a big baking or cook-up day is also found rather appealing. Here you would invite a few or many folks over and turn those dozens of zucchinis into zucchini and lime cake, or make jars of chilli and tomato relish, jams galore and have the dehydrator running all the while. The possibilities are endless for a Harvest Day Mash-up at home.

Your guide on what fruits, vegetables and herbs are good to freeze

Freezing is a convenient way to preserve many fruits, vegetables, and herbs, but not all of them freeze well due to differences in texture and water content. Here's a general guide, but keep in mind that individual preferences may vary, and specific preparation methods can influence freezing success.

What fruit, vegetables and herbs freeze well or not so well

Freeze well Freeze not so well
Fruits that freeze well and not so well
  1. Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
  2. Grapes
  3. Pineapple
  4. Mango
  5. Peach slices
  6. Banana slices (best for smoothies)
  7. Cherries
  8. Apples (sliced or as applesauce)
  9. Kiwi
  10. Oranges (as citrus segments)
  1. Watermelon (texture changes, becomes mushy)
  2. Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes - they can become mushy)
  3. Melons (cantaloupe, honeydew - texture may change)
  4. Apples (whole - texture changes, may become mealy)
Vegetables that freeze well and not so well
  1. Broccoli
  2. Cauliflower
  3. Peas
  4. Corn
  5. Green beans
  6. Carrots (blanched)
  7. Spinach (blanched)
  8. Bell peppers (sliced)
  9. Asparagus (blanched)
  10. Brussels sprouts (blanched)
  1. Lettuce and other leafy greens (they become limp and watery)
  2. Potatoes (they can become mealy)
  3. Radishes (texture changes)
  4. Cucumbers (they become mushy)
Herbs that freeze well and not so well
  1. Parsley
  2. Cilantro
  3. Basil (best when made into pesto)
  4. Chives
  5. Dill
  6. Mint
  1. Parsley, cilantro, and mint (if frozen whole, they may become mushy when thawed)
  2. Basil (if frozen as leaves, they may turn dark and lose flavour)


It's important to note that proper preparation, such as blanching, can improve the freezing success for many vegetables. Additionally, freezing herbs in oil or as part of a sauce (like pesto) can help preserve their flavour and texture. Always label and date your frozen items and use them within a reasonable time for the best quality.

Your guide on what fruits, vegetables and herbs are good for drying or preserving

What fruit, vegetables and herbs Preserve and dry well or not so well

 Preserve and dry  well  Challenging to preserve and dry
Fruits that preserve and dry well and not so well
  1. Apples (dried slices or as applesauce)
  2. Bananas (dried, often called banana chips)
  3. Grapes (raisins)
  4. Apricots
  5. Plums (prunes)
  6. Cherries
  7. Peaches
  8. Figs
  9. Pineapple
  10. Strawberries (dried)
  1. Watermelon (high water content makes it difficult to preserve)
  2. Citrus fruits (can be preserved as candied peel, but not commonly dried)
  3. Berries (difficult to dry without specialized equipment, better suited for freezing or making jams/jellies)
Vegetables that preserve and dry well and not so well
  1. Tomatoes (sun-dried or as tomato paste)
  2. Peppers (dried or pickled)
  3. Mushrooms (dried)
  4. Zucchini (dried as chips)
  5. Carrots (dehydrated or pickled)
  6. Onions (dehydrated or pickled)
  7. Garlic (dehydrated or pickled)
  8. Green beans (dehydrated or pickled)
  9. Peas (dehydrated)
  10. Corn (dehydrated)
  1. Leafy greens (they can become brittle and lose flavour)
  2. Lettuce (loses texture and flavour)
  3. Cucumbers (they can become mushy)
Herbs that preserve and dry well and not so well
  1. Basil (dried or as pesto)
  2. Thyme
  3. Rosemary
  4. Oregano
  5. Sage
  6. Mint
  7. Parsley
  1. Chives (can be frozen but lose some texture)
  2. Cilantro (can be dried but may lose flavour)


When drying fruits and vegetables, use a dehydrator or your oven on a low setting. For herbs, hang them in bundles in a cool, dry place, or use a dehydrator. Preservation methods may include canning, pickling, or making jams and jellies. Always follow proper guidelines and recipes for safe preservation, and label your items with the date and contents for easy identification.

Fruits, vegetables and herbs that are great for jam and jelly making, pickling and chutneys

Fruits for Jam and Jelly Making:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Blueberries
  3. Raspberries
  4. Blackberries
  5. Apricots
  6. Peaches
  7. Plums
  8. Cherries
  9. Apples
  10. Grapes

Vegetables for Pickling:

  1. Cucumbers (for dill pickles)
  2. Carrots
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Green beans
  5. Jalapeños (for pickled peppers)
  6. Beets
  7. Red onions
  8. Bell peppers
  9. Asparagus
  10. Radishes

Herbs for Pickling and Chutneys:

  1. Dill (for dill pickles)
  2. Mustard seeds
  3. Coriander seeds
  4. Cinnamon sticks
  5. Cloves
  6. Ginger
  7. Garlic
  8. Turmeric
  9. Bay leaves
  10. Tarragon

Fruits and Vegetables for Chutneys:

  1. Mangoes
  2. Apples
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Onions
  5. Peppers (bell peppers or chilli peppers)
  6. Pineapple
  7. Cranberries
  8. Raisins
  9. Plums
  10. Peaches



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