Updated: Mar 12, 2020
After a long winter, there’s nothing more welcoming than the sight of spring’s first vegetables: Crisp lettuces, earthy mushrooms, slender spears of asparagus, leafy spring onions, fresh peas, and green beans, and piles of bright rhubarb join year-round staples like garlic and beets as well as winter favorites nearing the end of their season. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables to look for this season as well as some expert tips for buying the best of spring’s bounty!
Spring Peas: Peas should be tender and the pod plump.
Blackberries: Ripe berries are large, plump, and deeply colored.
Swiss Chard: Harvest leaves under 4 inches and when tender.
Strawberries: Berries will have an even deep red all around.
Celery: Ripe when the stalks are 6 inches in length and clustered together.
Parsnips: Roots should be 1 to 2 inches wide and 8 to 12 inches long.
Beets: Best when harvested young, smaller than 6 inches.
Leeks: Harvest when stalks are around an inch wide.
Oranges: Ripe when the fruit has a firm texture with thin, smooth skin.
Carrots: Mature carrots will have a firm and tender texture.
Broccoli: Ready when the buds of the heard are firm and tight.
Rutabaga: Ripe when it is smooth and has purple-tinged skin.
Cauliflower: Ready when the heads are compact, white, and firm.
Avocado: Ripe when it has a slight sponginess to it and is dark in color.
Raspberries: Ripe berries are plump, large, and brightly colored.
Peaches: Ready to each when the color is deep golden.
Mushrooms: Freshest right after the veil breaks open.
Asparagus: Ready when spears are deep green or violet tinted.
Brussels Sprouts: Ready when the heads are firm and 1 to 2 inches.
Rhubarb: Freshest when the stalks are at least 10 inches long.
Cabbage: The heads should be firm all the way though when squeezed.
Bok Choy: Leaves may be anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet when ready.
Radishes: Fresher when harvested young, roots no wider than an inch.
Artichoke: Look for a firm bulb with tightly closed inner petals.
Lettuce: Leaves will be well-ruffled and deeply lobed when mature.
Plums: Ripe when texture is semi-soft has a deep, even color.
Zucchini: Will be a deep green and around 6 to 8 inches in length.