for the first installment, check out The Basics of Harvesting Part 1
Here are some more tips for knowing when your urban garden produce is ready to harvest:
Lemons are best picked when they are still a light shade of green, believe it or not. They should still be quite firm to the “pinch test”. When they reach a diameter of between 2 and 3 inches, they are ready to be picked. Any lemons that are already yellow should be picked immediately, as should any that are beginning to soften.
Peppers are, as a general rule, going to mature in 75-90 days. If you are growing a red, yellow, purple, or orange pepper, you should wait until the pepper has changed color before picking. Because there are so many different types of peppers, it is best to consult seed packaging for approximate size of mature fruit and use that as a gauge.
Radishes are the go-to veggie for quick gratification! Most varieties of radish are ready for harvest in about 25 days. The ideal specimen for the average radish has a root that is about 1” in diameter. The larger they grow the more likely they are to lose flavor and simply be hot and mealy.
Tomatoes can be tricky when it comes to harvesting because there are so many varieties, shapes, sizes, and colors. You can’t even rely on a change in color for all tomatoes because there are tomato varieties – like Aunt Ruby’s German Green – that never turn anything but green! This is when it is important to read the seed packaging to determine the average time to maturity for the variety you’re growing. This will also give you insight into the average size at maturity. Beyond appearance, tomatoes can be tested with just a light squeeze. If the tomato is still quite firm with no sign of give, it should remain on the vine if possible. Harvest tomatoes that have a slight give when lightly squeezed.