Grape Harvest Guide
What they look like:
Grapes are round, grow in bunches, and can be green, red or purple when fully ripe. Grapes grow on vines that have curly tendrils and lobed leaves with jagged edges.
When they’re ready:
Mid August to early October in Toronto
When to contact Not Far From The Tree to schedule a pick:
We’ll need some advance notice to schedule your pick, so please submit a fruit pick request 3-5 days before your fruit is ready. Be sure to check grapes on different parts of the vine, both sun-drenched and shaded bunches.
You’ll know they’re ready to harvest when…
– the grapes are juicy and easy to crush with your fingers;
– the grapes taste sweet rather than tart;
– the skin is soft and easy to tear (there may also be a white, dust-like bloom on the skin);
– the pulp is white, rather than green; and
– the seeds are brown.
If the pulp is still green and the seeds are still white or green, you’ll want to let the grapes continue to ripen on the vine.
Grapes start off green and will often change colour well before they are ripe so don’t let the colour fool you. Be sure grapes are ripe before harvesting as grapes will not continue to ripen after they’ve been picked. Grapes often need another one to three weeks to develop their full sweetness after they’ve changed colour.
Grab some garden pruners or sharp scissors. Grapes are picked most easily by holding a cluster of grapes in one hand and snipping the whole cluster off with your tool of choice. Breaking off the cluster, as opposed to cutting it, can damage the plant and smush your grapes.
Grapes can be stored for up to six weeks in cold storage, but beware, grapes will absorb the odours of other fruits and veggies so keep them away from your onions! Grapes store well in cardboard boxes or crates lined with clean, dry straw to separate the bunches. Check often for spoilage.
Check out our Fruit Guide for harvesting details for other local edibles.