When is it time to pick?

Harvest your veggies at the right time

All summer you water and tend your vegetables, and finally they're ready to harvest. But when, exactly? Here's how to tell.

Eggplants. Harvest fruits when they're immature and shiny. Dull-skinned mature eggplant has hard seeds and flesh that separates into channels; its flavor isn't as good.

Peppers. You can pick any pepper when the pod is firm and fully developed. But for best flavor, pick hot peppers ― jalapeños, serranos ― after the pods show color. (Jalapeños turn red; serranos can go red, orange, brown, or yellow.) Sweet peppers are most flavorful when mature; that's usually signaled, but not always, by color change. Bell peppers can mature green as well as red, orange, yellow, or maroon; pimientos ripen red; wax types go from yellow to orange or red.

Tomatoes. Pick after fruit colors fully. In fall, when night temperatures drop below 55°, pick any tomatoes with some color and ripen them indoors on a windowsill (dark green fruit never ripens).

    1 of 1

    Most Popular

    1. 10 ways to redecorate with paint

      Jump-start your decorating ideas with budget-friendly options for accent walls and accessories
    2. 10 raised bed garden ideas
    3. 53 favorite backyard projects
    4. 20 favorite perennial flowers
    5. 24 Best Places to Live and Work 2014