A Guide to Harvesting & Storing Vegetables for all Seasons

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

CropHarvest timeHarvesting tipsStorage and cooking tips
AsparagusSpringLeave 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.
Beetroot10 weeks from sowingYoung 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.
CabbageSummer to autumn or 8-16 weeks from sowingHarvest the entire plant when heads are firm and plump.Can be sliced, blanched for 3-4 minutes and stored in the freezer.
CarrotsYear roundPick continuously to spread the harvest.Small young carrots have the best flavour.
Parsnips18-20 weeks after plantingPick 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.
PotatoesSpringPick after flowering, when the leaves start to turn yellow.Store out of the light to prevent greening (the formation of alkaloids).
PumpkinAutumnHarvest 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 cornSpring to autumn or 10 weeks after sowingWhen the silks turn brown, the corn is ready to pick.To maximise flavour, cook as soon as possible after picking.
Sweet potatoesAutumn or 20 weeks after plantingTubers are mature when the plants turn yellow.Leave tubers in the sun to cure for a few days after digging up.
TomatoesEarly 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.