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• Beets and turnips: Ready when golf ball sized to tennis ball sized.
• Carrots: Ready as soon as they’re big enough for your needs. Leave maincrop varieties in the ground until you’re ready to use them, including over winter in milder areas.
• Parsnips: Ready when the leaves have died back. Wait until after the first frosts for the sweetest roots.
• Early potatoes: Ready 10 to 12 weeks after planting, when the plants come into flower.
• Maincrop potatoes for storing: Ready 20 weeks after planting, once all the foliage has died back.
• Peas and fava beans: Ready when the peas feel well-developed in their pods. Shell a few to double-check.
• Pole beans and bush beans: Ready when long and smooth, but before beans start to bulge inside.
• Peppers and tomatoes: Ready when the skin is evenly colored all over.
• Cucumbers: Ready when there is no pronounced point at the tip. Can be picked small for snacking cucumbers, or larger for slicing.
• Zucchini: Ready when they reach about 4 inches (10 centimeters) long.
• Summer squash: Ready as soon as they reach a desirable size.
• Winter squash: Ready when the stem has died off and hardened. If you push your thumbnail into the skin, it should dent but not puncture it.
• Ready when the tassels at the ends of the cobs have shriveled up, and when you sink your nail into a kernel it exudes a milky liquid.
• Cut-and-come-again salad leaves: Ready when young and tender.
• Heart-forming salad leaves: Ready when the heart has begun to firm up.
• Cabbages: Ready when the fleshy leaves have formed a tight, firm head. Delay harvesting Savoy types until after winter frosts, which enrich the flavor.
• Broccoli and cauliflower: Ready when the heads have fully formed but the buds are still tightly closed.
• For using fresh: Dig up when the foliage starts to die down in summer.
• For storing: Wait two weeks after the foliage has turned yellow and toppled over. Dig up the bulbs and cure them for storing in a cool, dry place.
• Apples and pears: Ready when they pull away easily from the tree.
• Stone fruits: Ready when they become slightly softer at the stalk end of the fruit.
• Raspberries: Ready when evenly colored and they pull away easily from their plug.
• Blackcurrants: Ready a week after turning black.
• Blueberries: Ready two or three days after turning blue.
Learn more about when to harvest your fruits and vegetables in this video.
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