Tips on harvesting vegetables

tomato on vine
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Did you ever pick a big, red tomato and slice it open, only to find you should have left it on the vine a little longer?

You can find tips on harvesting vegetables, including when to pick them, from the Home Garden Seed Association, which also goes by

In most cases, tomatoes should be not only fully colored, but slightly soft when squeezed, according to the Home Garden Seed Association.

There are some exceptions. Large heirloom tomatoes can be prone to cracking, and are best picked before they have completely turned color. They’ll continue to ripen after harvest.

Similarly, cherry tomatoes crack if left on the vine too long, so pick them just before they are perfectly ripe.

Another tip on tomatoes: Tomatoes lose flavor when refrigerated. Fresh tomatoes will keep for a week or so on the countertop.

Find tips for harvesting other vegetables here.






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