How and When to Harvest Crops

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How and When to Harvest Crops

Harvesting Crops from the Home Garden

Now that we have learnt all the steps in growing crops and keeping them free of pests and diseases, we can finally harvest a wonderful crop.

What is Harvesting?
Harvesting is the process of removing your produce (fruits, vegetables and root crops) from the plant when mature, at the time they are ready for immediate consumption, sale or storage.

When should you harvest?
• The time of harvest varies with each crop
• Harvest produce at the stage for consumption
• The expected time for harvest is based on the time of
planting or transplanting

  • Crop- Lettuce, patchoi
    Harvest time- 4-5 weeks ( before they flower)
  • Crop – Chive, celery
    Harvest time – 4 weeks
  • Crop – Melongene
    Harvest time – 10 weeks
  • Crop – Okra, Cucumbers
    Harvest time – Once mature, every other day
  • Crop – Tomatoes, Hot Peppers
    Harvest time – 10 weeks, Mature but still green, allowed to ripen in
  • Crop- Bananas, Plantains, Tomatoes, Peppers
    Harvest time – Harvest when fruit is mature, when it has changed to the colour you desire



Be guided by
• Sight- colour, size, shape
• Touch- texture, hardness, softness
• Smell- odour, aroma
• Taste-sweetness, sourness, bitterness
• Resonance-sound when tapped


Methods of Harvesting
• Handpicking
• Harvesting Using Tools
• Knife
• Secateurs
• Fruit Picker
• Picking Pole
• Garden Fork
• Harvesting Using Machinery

Now that you have bought or harvested your produce the next step is to clean and prepare for storage and/ consumption. Please follow along with the accompanying posters for this information.


Video –Harvesting


Information courtesy the Extension Training and Information Services (ETIS) Division

Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries

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