Knowing exactly when and how to harvest berries is extremely important as these small, delicate fruits, have a short shelf life and can bruise easily if not handled properly. Harvesting berries IS easy, you just need to know WHEN to do it, and this berry picking guide will help you with that! Harvesting berries at their correct maturation is key to having the freshest and sweetest berries and it also prevents spoilage.
To know exactly when to harvest berries, there are a few indicators you can look at that will help you spot a ripe, ready-to-harvest berry every single time.
#1. Size and Color
One of the easiest ways to tell when to harvest your berries is simply by looking at them! Once they turn from green to a more vibrant color (anywhere from red to purple depending on the berry you're growing), they're usually ready to pick. Size is anther important factor – you'll know they're ready for picking when they are the right size, and you should know this by simply by looking at them! If it looks like a blueberry, then it's a ready-to-pick blueberry!
#2. Smell and Taste
Berries also have a sweet, ripe smell once they're ready for harvest. Get up close to your berries and smell them – if they have a strong, sweet smell, they're ready to pick! Don't be afraid to taste a berry or two as well – this is by far THE best indicator when it comes to picking berries. If the berry tastes like it should (assuming you know what berries taste like, of course!), then it's ready!
#3. Picking at the Right Time
So now that you know your berries are ready for picking, it's important to harvest them at the right time of day. The best time to pick berries is right in the morning before the sun has a chance to hit them. Berries are also at the peak of their sweetness during that time.
Strawberries are usually picked in June and continue for 3-4 weeks.
Elderberries mature in mid summer, and most berries will also be ready around that time.
Blackberries, however, are not ripe until August or September.
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