When to harvest and how?

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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When to harvest and how?

Postby CatBud » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:26 pm

Hi everyone, newbie here again :)
I know this is rather general but how do you know when to harvest and how do you do it? Obviously things like runner beans, strawberries, it's noticable but what about carrots and potatoes etc, also lettuce.
Sorry if this seems like a stupid question...
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Postby pigletwillie » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:04 pm

Hi Catbud, there are no stupid questions but plenty of daft answers.

With things like lettuce you can harvest whenever you think its big enough. Some of the cut and come again lettuce are just that and will regrow several times when you pick of the leaves you need.

An easy way for main crop potatoes is when their haulms (foliage) start to die back they are ready, you can dig one up to see the size if you want some earlier. Earlies and the like can be dug up when they start to flower but as some dont flower you should look for between 10-12 weeks from planting.

As for carrots, there is no right time, just how big do you want them. Most people eat the thinings as baby carrots and leave the space out ones for use as a maincrop but pulled over a few weeks. To ensure a continuous supply sow a short row every 2-4 weeks.
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Book that might help alot.

Postby peter » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:05 pm

Catbud, I thoroughly recommend the RHS book "The Vegetable Garden Displayed" published by the RHS, now out of print but available via Amazon from £5.95.

It covers all the basics with pictures, but some information especially about spraying is out of date.

There is also "The Fruit Garden Displayed"

You might find it useful to search Amazon using "vegetable garden" or visit a good bookshop, Joy Larkcom has at least one current book on the subject.

Regards, Peter.
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Postby Beccy » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:17 pm

And I would thoroughly endorse those recommendations.
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Postby Compo » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:25 pm

Same with cabbages, plant em a bit close together they will grow a bit quicker to compete for the space, so you can pull em earlier two or three at a time, amd currently adopting this process with leeks too.

I wish they had this website when I Was a newbie, it is veritable fount of knowledge
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Postby David » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:39 pm


I just had great advice from Chez on harvesting peas - take a look its about 4 messages above yours.

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