Ready to pick! When to harvest fruit in the UK holiday cottages

Ready to pick! When to harvest fruit in the UK

Hannah 04 April 2018

Nicknamed the Garden of England, Kent is ripe with opportunities to pick some of the freshest and tastiest fruits around. Covered with orchards, vineyards and pick your own farms, there are several chances to pick and sample some of the plentiful local produce grown in this beautiful county.

We all know that the best time to enjoy our locally grown fruits is when they are in season, but this varies considerably from fruit to fruit. With our useful infographic, you’ll find some of the most popular fruits grown right here in Kent and Sussex and across the UK, as well as the months of the year when they will be ripe and ready to pick. It’s also handy for those making a foray into growing their own seasonal fruit in the garden!

A guide to when to pick and harvest fruit in the UK


When to pick: between August and November

An easily grown fruit, both dessert and cooking apples are popular fruits to grow. Bramley is the most popular variety of cooking apple, while favourite dessert apple types include Golden Delicious.


When to pick: between July and August

Apricot plants may struggle to grow in colder areas, but in others they can thrive if left to grow in the sunshine, protected from frost.


When to pick: between July and September

Easily found in hedgerows from the late summer onwards, blackberries make for great jams and dessert fillings.


When to pick: between June and August

These easy to grow bunches of dark fruits have a tart flavour and can be turned into all sorts of things, from pies to jams, cordials and liqueurs.


When to pick: between July and September

Often regarded as a ‘superfood’, blueberries are great to grow not only for the end result but also for the pretty flowers that appear in the meantime.


When to pick: between June and August

Cherries are available in several varieties – some sweet and perfect for eating as is, while others are a little bitter when raw, but great when cooked into jams and desserts.


When to pick: between August and October

High in vitamins, these originally American berries are wonderful in sauces, stuffing and as an accompaniment to cooked meat.


When to pick: between August and October

Similar to plums, damsons grow on compact trees good for smaller gardens.


When to pick: between May and July

Start picking these flowers in the late springtime so that you’ll have enough to make a delicious elderflower cordial perfect for summer days.


When to pick: between June and August

An easy-to-grow soft fruit, be sure to take care when picking fully-ripened gooseberries, as they are likely to burst.


When to pick: between July and August

A cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, loganberries are best picked when they turn a deep red colour. Edible whether cooked or raw, it has a sharper flavour than raspberries.


When to pick: between August and October

Rarely found in shops, sometimes the only way to get a hold of mulberries is to pick them fresh from the tree. It may take several years for a mulberry tree to start bearing fruit.


When to pick: between August and November

Pears require very little care throughout the year and are the perfect fruit for autumn. The most popular varieties grown are the Conference and the Concorde.


When to pick: between August and September

Even the smallest of gardens can grow plum trees! Ripening on the branch, plums can be eaten as soon as they are picked or made into jams and other sweet treats.


When to pick: between September and November

Similar in appearance to pears, quinces are large, yellow and aromatic fruits which are hard to find in most shops and supermarkets. Great for jellies and jams, they’re easy to look after and avoid many of the common problems that come with growing fruit.


When to pick: between June and October

With varieties ready to harvest in both the summer and the autumn, raspberries can be enjoyed much of the year. They also freeze well, meaning they can even be eaten in the winter.


When to pick: between June and August

Redcurrants are closely related to blackcurrants and grow well even in the colder areas of Britain, though the ripening process speeds up dramatically when they’re given some sun.


When to pick: between March and August

Technically classed as a vegetable, rhubarb becomes very sweet when stewed to make desserts such as pies and crumbles. Its long leaf stalks are red, pink or green in colour.


When to pick: between September and November

These brightly coloured hips can be found in hedgerows and, once cooked, are delicious in syrups and jellies.


When to pick: between October and December

A small, round stone fruit, sloes are an autumn fruit growing in popularity, thanks to their increasing use in homemade gins and other liqueurs.


When to pick: between June and September

Strawberries are so easy to grow at home and can be grown almost anywhere. They’re one of the signs that summer has arrived, famously paired with cream or champagne.

Infographic references

Damson Plums – A Guide to Damsons - http://www.daiv.co.uk/guidetodamsons.php

Galloway Wild Foods – Elderflowers - http://www.gallowaywildfoods.com/seasonal-notes/june-elderflowers/

Val Bourne, Saga Magazine – How to grow loganberries - https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/home-garden/gardening/fruit-and-veg/how-to-grow-loganberries

Royal Horticultural Society – Grow Your Own - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/fruit

Royal Horticultural Society – Rhubarb - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=544

Delicious Magazine - Foraging for Autumn Fruits - http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/stories/foraging-for-autumn-fruits/

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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