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Is it ripe yet? When to harvest your crops...

You’ve carefully tended your crops, protected them from the vagaries of British weather, seen off invasions of slugs, mildew, caterpillars and all manner of pests and diseases. You’ve fed them, watered religiously and you are on the cusp of harvesting your very own produce... One challenge that you might not have expected is knowing when to actually harvest your crops. Pick them too soon and they may taste terrible; leave them too late and they are past their best! So how do you know if they’re ripe yet?

For some crops the answer is obvious - most soft fruits, tomatoes and peppers change colour on ripening, signalling that they are ready to pick. Courgettes can be cut when they reach the desired size, and many Salad leaves can be cut as and when required, without too much cause for concern. But other crops can leave you feeling uncertain.

Here are some tips on knowing when to harvest your fruit and veg.

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Many of our favourite vegetables are roots or tubers that are produced beneath the soil. But how do you know what’s going on down there? Here's how to get the best from your home grown vegetable crops.


Fruits can be just as tricky. Here are some of the fruits that often raise concern when it comes to harvesting.