U Pick Tips & Tricks For Summer

U Pick Tips & Tricks For Summer

What’s better than warm weather? Warm weather and fresh fruit!

U-pick is a popular spring, summer and fall activity for friends and family. Enjoy some fresh air, spend time on Maryland farms, and enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun soooo intended). So pull out your calendars because we have the rundown on what months you can find your favorite u-pick fruits this spring and summer along with some helpful tips and farms you can visit!


Strawberries – When selecting strawberries, be sure to look for a full, red color, bright luster and firm, plump flesh. Strawberries do not ripen after being picked, so be sure to choose fully ripe berries. The caps should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached.

Late June-August


Blueberries – Berries will be ripening in various stages: white, green, red, blue, and purple. Berries that are white, green, and just a hint of red are not ripe and will not ripen after picking. Look for berries that are plump, and full. Berries that have turned completely red, blue, or purple will continue to ripen at room temperature.

Blackberries – There are two types of blackberries to know about: thorny and thornless! Obviously, the thornless are easier to pick, but some people claim the thorny varieties are sweeter. With the thorny plants, you want to reach into the plant in the gaps, so you don’t need to touch anything but the berry you’re after, avoiding the thorns. Pick only the berries that are fully black. Reach in between the stems to grab for hidden berries ready for harvest. Bend down and look up into the plant and you will find loads of berries that other people missed!


Storage Tips for all Berries

  • Do not place them still warm from the sun in a closed bag or container, leave it open or use clam shell containers.
  • Do not wash berries until just before using them.
  • Do store them in the refrigerator in a covered container as soon as you get them home, without washing them. This will extend shelf life to as much as 10-14 days.



Peaches – Look at the color: When a peach is ready to be picked, it won’t have any green on the skin. The skin will have changed to yellow or white, or in some cases (depending on the variety) will have a very bright red-orange color. If there is still some green skin, it isn’t ready to be picked yet!

Gently touch the peach: If the peach is firm, it is not ready to be picked. Wait until there is some “give” but don’t squeeze too hard – it will result in bruising! Look at the shape: A peach will become more round as it ripens. Smell the peaches: If there is no smell, it’s not ready to be enjoyed. A ripe peach will give off a sweet aroma! Pull gently: A ripe peach will separate from the tree easily. If it’s difficult to pick, leave it on the tree to ripen longer

Peach Storage Tips

  • At peak ripeness, peaches are best kept at room temperature on a flat, non-porous surface.
  • Stone fruits should be stored stem-side down to avoid developing any soft spots.
  • Feel free to store them in the fridge for a few days, but only if they are ripe, otherwise they will soften and wrinkle.
  • You can also freeze peaches by slicing or chunking them, sprinkle them with lemon juice and put them in single layers on parchment paper in the freezer until solid. Once frozen, you can store them in a ziploc bag. 

For a list of u-pick farms near you, click the link and select your location!