Signs That Your Vegetables Are Ready For Harvest

Young farmer with crate full of vegetables

Did you spend your summer gardening, and now you’re ready to harvest your crops? You don’t want to pick your veggies before they’re ready, though, or all that work will be for naught. Check out some signs that your vegetables are ready for harvest.

When to Harvest Lettuce

If you have some romaine lettuce in your garden, it’ll take 50-75 days to be ready for harvest. That’s a pretty big window, so you’ll need to look for signs that it’s ready. Romaine lettuce is ready to pick when the:

  • Leaves are crisp and dark green
  • Leaves are 6-10 inches in height
  • Outer leaves wrinkle just a bit on the edges
  • Inner leaves appear tightly packed
  • Base is around three inches in width

If you aren’t sure, break a leaf of a head of lettuce, listening for a snapping noise. If you hear it, your lettuce is ripe for the picking.

Leaf lettuce is a bit different. It generally matures in 50-60 days. At this point, the outer leaves should be between 4-6 inches in height. The leaves will also have a rich color that turns from glossy to matte and a ruffled appearance.

When to Harvest Carrots

Your carrots will take 60-90 days to ripen. You’ll know that your carrots are ready when the crown is vibrant orange and ¾ inches or larger in diameter. Most of the time, you can check this by examining the crown that’s popped through the soil. However, if your carrots have been in the ground for a while and haven’t broken through, remove a bit of dirt to check.

Keep in mind that just because one carrot is ripe, that doesn’t mean they all are. They ripen around the same time, but it’s not exact, so check them all before harvesting them.

When to Harvest Radishes

Radishes are a perfect addition to salads and other dishes. If you have some in your garden, they’ll take around 20-60 days to ripen. The time frame depends on the type of radishes you’re growing. Fortunately, it’s really easy to tell if radishes are ripe. Walk over to a stem and look at the top of the radish. If it’s around an inch in diameter, you can pick it.

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Other Harvesting Times

With lettuce, carrots, and radishes covered, let’s look at other harvesting times. You need to harvest:

  • Corn in 60-100 days
  • Beans in 50-60 days
  • Small to medium potatoes in 6-8 weeks
  • Large potatoes in 90-100 days
  • Cauliflower in 85-130 days
  • Broccoli in 100-150 days
  • Peas in 55-70 days
  • Onions in 100-175 days

Now that you have a schedule, you can head out to your garden to see if anything’s ready to harvest. If it is, you can have a delicious meal with fresh veggies tonight.

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