A Guide to Harvesting & Storing Vegetables for all Seasons

Gardening

See our guide below for vital informaiton on harvesting and storing vegetables:

Crop Harvest time Harvesting tips Storage and cooking tips
Asparagus Spring Leave uncut in the first year. In the second year, cut the spear just below the soil, using a sharp knife. Cut ends off then stand in a small container of water in the fridge. Cover with plastic.
Beetroot 10 weeks from sowing Young beetroot has the best flavour, but the crop can be stored in the ground and harvested over many months. The leaves can also be picked for salads.
Cabbage Summer to autumn or 8-16 weeks from sowing Harvest the entire plant when heads are firm and plump. Can be sliced, blanched for 3-4 minutes and stored in the freezer.
Carrots Year round Pick continuously to spread the harvest. Small young carrots have the best flavour.
Parsnips 18-20 weeks after planting Pick continuously to spread the harvest. Pull baby parsnips at 2-3 months or leave in the ground for up to 6 months. Store out of the light for 1-2 weeks, or in the vegetable crisper for several weeks.
Potatoes Spring Pick after flowering, when the leaves start to turn yellow. Store out of the light to prevent greening (the formation of alkaloids).
Pumpkin Autumn Harvest when the stems begin to wither and when the vine starts to die off. Cure (harden the skin) in a warm spot, but store in a cool, dry space on a wire rack.
Sweet corn Spring to autumn or 10 weeks after sowing When the silks turn brown, the corn is ready to pick. To maximise flavour, cook as soon as possible after picking.
Sweet potatoes Autumn or 20 weeks after planting Tubers are mature when the plants turn yellow. Leave tubers in the sun to cure for a few days after digging up.
Tomatoes Early summer to autumn (year round in warm climates) For the best flavour, allow fruits to ripen on the vine. In fruit fly zones, pick full-sized green tomatoes and ripen them inside the home to reduce pest damage.