Harvesting your own homegrown fruit and vegetables correctly will mean you will enjoy a bountiful harvest and good quality crop year after year. Read some of our tips for harvesting homegrown fruit and vegetables at home.
1. When to harvest
Harvest vegetables when they are at their peak, for flavour and nutrition – bigger does not always equal better! Tomatoes can be picked either when they are fully ripe or green and left to ripen off the vine. Berries should be picked when they are ripe as they will not continue to ripen off the vine. There is a little more flexibility when harvesting leafy greens as you can harvest the tender baby leaves or wait until they have fully developed. Make sure you take the outer leaves first and leave the inner leaves to develop.
2. Harvest fruit and vegetables gently
Try to avoid bruising or damaging vegetables or leaves as this can create openings that diseases can enter and eventually damage the plants. Use a sharp knife to harvest vegetables cleanly, particularly those that won’t easily be pulled from the vines. If you are harvesting citrus fruit, twist the fruit and if it easily snaps off it is ready to harvest.
3. Harvesting root vegetables
Root vegetables are usually ready to harvest 6-8 weeks after planting, leaves will be darker with thicker stems. When you are harvesting, dig carefully around the vegetables to prevent any damage to the vegetable under the soil or nearby vegetables that aren’t ready to harvest.
ele Bonus tip – if you are planting multiple vegetable plants, plant them in intervals of 1-2 weeks so that you have a regular ripe harvest all through the growing season.