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Jun. 29th, 2006 @ 08:20 pm Harvest help
I know it's too early to pick most of my crops but I'm going to need some help. I've not done any veg gardening before and I don't really know how to know when things are ready. oldbloke says he's pretty confident he'll know when the peas are ready to pick because his dad used to grow them, but otherwise I'm kind of playing it all by ear. Well, no, tomatoes I understand!

So, are there any books or websites out there that'll show me - show being the operative word - what things look like when they're ready to pick?

Everything in the garden's looking pretty good, although most of my brassicas appear to have succumbed to the slugs. I'm very excited about the idea of harvesting, but don't want to pick too early or wait too late!
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Date:June 29th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
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Depends what you are growing really - peas, for example, you can feel when they are filled out (though be careful not to leave them too long or they will dry on the plants); courgettes are very easy to tell when they are ready (you just have to pick them at a size you like - generally they are nicer when they are on the smaller side); potatos are guesswork so you might need to pull a stalk and see if they are big enough (generally if they are flowering they should be nearly ready); cauliflowers and brocolli you should be able to see the heads forming (the trick is getting them big enough but not where they start getting loose). Generally speaking if it looks like what you see in the shops it should be right :)
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Date:June 29th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
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Cheers! Now, what about my carrots and parsnips? I don't want to pull them too early, and I'm concerned about the onions too!
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Date:June 30th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
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onions are easy- they're like garlic; wait until the stalks go yellow and fall over. At that point they onions will have all the nutrition they're going to get and you can pull them up.

As for parsnips - I usually leave mine too long and pull them after about 8 months after sowing at which point they're a bit woody, but still make fantastic soup.

Occasionally I want them quicker, and just excavate the tops too see how wide they are and assume thats indicative of the length. Its not very scientific, and I have sometimes pulled up tiny ones which I've replanted successfully (but I think the success is more luck than judgment or skill!)