Guide to U-Pick Crops in Washington State
Thanks to Washington’s temperate climate, a variety of u-pick crops are available all year round. Here are some of the state’s most popular u-pick crops that you’ll want to get your hands on.
Late summer and early fall is prime apple-picking season in Washington, but they’re in season all year long in some areas, such as Yakima at Johnson Orchards. Some counties (such as King, Kitsap, Snohomish, and Whatcom) have great apple orchards, including Skipley Farm, Farm at Swan’s Trail, and Bellewood Farms.
U-pick apricots are available in Washington in July and August. You can pick your fair share of apricots in southern and central Washington, although the best harvest is in the western region of the state.
Since some varieties of apricots ripen earlier or later than others, you can enjoy prime apricots at any time in the harvest season.
U-pick blackberries are available in August and September, with the best harvest found in Western Washington. Keep in mind that loganberries and marionberries are the two most popular blackberry varieties, while boysenberries are crosses between both raspberries and blackberries.
Western Washington will provide the most abundant blueberry harvest from July through September, with the season usually peaking in August. And since there are so many varieties of blueberries, you can stop at a few farms to explore selections and make jams, pies, or muffins using a mixture of them.
U-pick beets are available year-round, although peak harvest season is from May through September. Beets are generally best grown and harvested in the western region of the state.
Broccoli is available for u-pick from June through November and is mostly available in the southern region of the state.
U-pick carrots are available year-round, although the most are grown between May and October. They’re a root vegetable that thrives in cooler seasons (but not too cold), and since Washington typically has wetter, lower “high” temperatures than other areas of the country, carrots can thrive in all regions of the state.
Washington is one of the best places in the world for cherries to grow (both sweet and tart), and they’re available all over the state from May through August, but July is their prime time. You can find them up north near Bellingham, west near Spokane, south near Yakima and Grand View, and even in Central Washington in Wenatchee.
U-pick corn is available mid-July through mid-October. The best harvest for corn, regular or sweet, will come out of Western Washington and peak between August and September. And most importantly, don’t forget your butter or salt!
U-pick figs are available from August through October. Since figs enjoy well-drained soil and a good amount of sun, Western Washington is their ideal growing spot. Other areas in the state can grow figs as well, as long as there’s not too much shade or heavy moisture lingering in the soil with no chance to dry.
Available August through mid-October, garlic typically thrives better in the western region of the state. Filaree Farm is a great spot to consider if you’re looking to harvest some organic, local cloves.
Grape-picking season in Washington is prime between August and October. Our temperate climate and soft sun — especially in Woodinville, Yakima, and Walla Walla — is perfect for winemaking, so you can expect to find some of the state’s most delicious grapes there.
Green beans are available for picking primarily in Western Washington starting in mid-July, while they hit their peak between August and September. Fava beans are a variety that peaks a bit earlier than others.
U-pick leafy greens are typically available May through November, give or take a month at the start and end of the season depending on the type of green. You can find different varieties of green — including kale, romaine, arugula, and more — in any region throughout Washington state.
Available mid-July to mid-August, onions typically thrive better in drier climates, which is why you’ll find them to be more abundant in the eastern regions of the state. While bulb onions are readily available, don’t overlook shallots — they’re there too!
Peak peach season is typically in early August with two varieties, cling and freestone, available in Western Washington. You can find both varieties of peaches at u-pick farms through September, but call the farm you want to visit before the season starts (in May or June) to get updates on the current year’s harvest.
Pears are available for u-pick in the entirety of Western Washington from September through October. However, Southwest Washington’s best picking time is earlier in the season, while northern regions are better later in the season.
One step down from California, Washington provides the second highest number of plums in the nation. They typically ripen between mid-July and mid-September, sometimes reaching into October, with flavors that range from tart to sweet. Both the east and west sides of the state can grow delicious plums, but the maritime climate of the western region works better for some varieties.
Most pumpkin patches will have u-pick available from the end of September through October. You can find pumpkins all over the state; however, their best harvest is in Western Washington.
Raspberries are in their prime from June through August, and are best available in Western Washington. Their harvest peaks in July and August, but similar to strawberries, there are some year-long varieties available.
If you’re planning to make jam, consider scouting out farms that specialize in seed or non-seed-bearing varieties.
U-pick rhubarb is available in April, May, and June. Since rhubarb needs mild weather to thrive, let alone survive, Washington is a great place for producing this vegetable, and even grows the country’s largest amount of commercial rhubarb harvest.
You can find the majority of rhubarb growth in the western end of the state around the Puget Sound region.
Strawberries are available for u-pick from June through July, with the best harvest found in Western Washington. While June’s strawberry growth peaks in the middle of the month, there are other varieties that will ripen twice within a season, once in June and again in late July.
Tomatoes are available August through October, and are best grown in Western Washington, typically hitting their peak in September. For u-picking, a favorite is often plum tomatoes, a variety that has fewer seeds and less water than other types of tomatoes, which makes it great for sauces. Another popular option is slicing tomatoes, which are great for salads.
Before heading to a farm, consider what you want to use your tomatoes for, and you can narrow down your farm choices based on the variety you need.
Winter squash varieties such as acorn and butternut are available from September through late October, and sometimes to early to mid November depending if heavy frost has arrived.
Since squash needs a moderate to high amount of water because of the way their vines grow, Western Washington is an ideal place for ample harvesting.
Zucchini (a type of summer squash) is available in June, July, August, and September, and since it needs moist soil while growing, Western Washington is a prime region for harvest.
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