But as the crop is produced below ground, it’s hard to tell when the tubers are ready to dig.So, how DO you know when to harvest potatoes?When to harvest potatoes?For a long harvest of new potatoes, stagger your seed potato plantings or plant early and late maturing varieties.How to harvest potatoes.Pick a dry day to harvest potatoes as moisture can spread disease and rot.What’s the best way to harvest?Storage Potatoes – To harvest storage potatoes, insert a garden fork about a foot away from the plant and gently lift the root mass.Harvesting potatoes from containers and straw beds.If harvesting new potatoes from a container or potato grow bag, reach into the soil to feel around for the tubers, taking just a few from each plant at any one time.If you’re not sure of your soil pH, this is also an ideal time for a soil test.Before they can be stored, potatoes need to go through a curing process.To cure potatoes, lay them on newspaper, trays, or cardboard in a cool, dark spot (50 to 60 F, 10 to 15 C) with high humidity for one to two weeks.You can also find multiple drawer harvest storage at many garden supply stores.The best storage area for potatoes.Under ideal conditions, storage potatoes can retain quality for six to eight months in long-term storage.Check tubers regularly and remove any that show signs of rot or shrivelling. .
Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Potatoes
From watching their little eyes open and emerge from the soil after planting to peaking around the base of the plants to see the first tubers forming to finally harvesting a bountiful crop of fresh potatoes…no matter if it’s your first or 50th crop the whole process is magical.However, there are some significant differences that separate seed potatoes from the ones you find in the grocery store.Potatoes intended to be sold for seed are tested for a panel of diseases before receiving a government-issued ‘disease-free’ certificate.Without this assurance, you could unknowingly introduce diseases into your crop and your soil that could persist for many years.Seed potatoes have been grown to physical maturity meaning they were cured in the ground before harvest and are able to be stored successfully to produce next year’s crop.You’ll notice that most seed potatoes come from northern latitudes like Colorado, Idaho and Maine.These climates have the kind of weather potatoes need to produce high quality, disease-free seed crops.These ‘new’ potatoes have very fragile skins, are easily damaged and will not cure in the ground due to the heat of summer soils.Soil testing will answer those questions and provide amendment rate recommendations based on your results.Soil that has been prepared & amended with compost & Macronutrients (Phosphorus & Potassium) the following Fall.Wire worms reside in sod & can ruin your crop with their feeding.Just wait until the grass is gone & you’ve worked the space with tillage to disrupt their life cycle.Follow this link for an explanation of soil macro and micronutrients, what they provide to the crop and how deficiencies exhibit themselves in the plant.If your yields are lower, it could be a varietal characteristic or an indication that something is out of balance in your soil.Other growers prefer to leave spring potato beds fallow and weed-free for ease of getting into the field as early as possible.Whatever bed preparation method you choose, potatoes DO NOT like to be next to actively decomposing green matter.Dig a trench in your bed about 4”-6” deep; triangle or standard hoes work well.In the southeast, potatoes are grown from March to May-July, depending on varietal days to maturity.If potatoes are exposed to sunlight, they will start to photosynthesize and produce a green pigment under the skin.Hilling potatoes ensures that forming tubers are fully covered with soil and are protected from the sun’s rays.With that in mind, if you see any potatoes at the soil line, be sure to cover them promptly to prevent greening.By covering growing leaf shoots with soil, we are creating more below-ground stem.This is also why you may notice different sized potatoes on your plants at harvest; the longer the underground stem was under the ground translates to larger potato size and your preceding hilling activites.Just loosen surrounding soil in the bed and pull up around the leaves and stems.Generally, potatoes need between 1-2 inches of water per week; this could be provided by rain events or you to make up the difference.30-60 days: Water critical for vegetative growth and early tuber formation.It’s best to identify the variety you are growing and its DTM to give you an idea of when your crop will be ready to harvest.Count the days from planting to figure out target harvest dates per potato variety.Let potatoes dry off on the bed top for no more than 30 minutes or so before collecting them gently into boxes or bins.Consider collecting your potatoes into the bins or boxes you intend to store them in to minimize the number of times you have to handle them.Store all potatoes in a cool dark place until you are ready to eat them or sell them.DO NOT EAT green potatoes; they contain a toxin that is detrimental to the central nervous system.Keep in mind that potatoes grown in the Southeast will likely be harvested before the scorching heat of summer and will not get a chance to cure in the ground.This means skins will be very fragile and the potatoes will not keep as long as those that are allowed to fully mature and cure in the ground.You can expect Southeastern crops to store 1-3 months, depending on variety, potato size and storage conditions.Understanding what pests like, need and are attracted to will help you manage them in your garden or farm.Identify most vulnerable life stage (s) of pest to be most effective with treatment options_ egg, larvae, pupa, adult.Adults, eggs & larvae as much as is feasible while you are scouting to get a feel for whether or not you need to treat the crop.Hand pick adults & larvae; crush them, throw them into water to prevent them from flying away &/or feed them to chickens.Spinosad is a bacterium that affects insect’s nervous systems resulting ultimately in death.For some species of wire worms, it can take 5 years to become an adult click beetle!Wire worms feed underground on newly sprouted seeds and stems.Click beetles feed on pollen, nectar and other insects like aphids.Highest concentrations of wire worms are found in sod or lawns. .
Master Gardener: When are potatoes ready to harvest? – Press
Now that they have started to grow, we’ve been wondering how to tell when the potatoes are ready for harvest.A: I guess this could puzzle a gardener at first, since the potatoes are a root crop and grow beneath the soil surface.The plants themselves are rather pretty in the garden with dark green leaves growing to about knee-high.One sign that young potatoes are ready is the formation of flowers on the plants.This exotic‑looking “no‑mow” grass does well in most areas of Southern California. .
How and when to harvest potatoes: know when to dig potatoes up
Knowing when to harvest potatoes is based on whether they’re an early potato or maincrop, time in the ground, and what happens to their foliage and flowers.But when are potatoes ready to harvest?Main crop King Edward potatoes dried and ready for storage.This year I’ve grown Pentland Javelin which is a type that matures slightly later than other First Earlies.Potato flowers beginning to drop indicates that it’s a good time to dig up first early and second early potatoes.The way you tend to know that first earlies are ready is by their flowers.It’s time to dig up your tender, homegrown potatoes when the buds drop or the flowers that do bloom begin to fade.If they’re the size of an egg or larger, you can start harvesting.First and second earlies are thin-skinned and tender and harvested about 70-90 days after planting.That gives you time to eat your first crop before another massive harvest is ready.Maincrop potatoes are planted at the same time or up to a month later as second early potatoes.Though you can harvest many main-crop potatoes as earlies, or carefully dig a few out after the plant has flowered, I think it’s best to grow types specifically bred to be earlies.Harvesting Maincrop Potatoes.You harvest main crops in late summer, typically in August to September and you know the time is right when much of the foliage on all your plants begin to turn yellow.Leaving potatoes in the sun for any longer than a day or two can cause them to turn green. .
How to Grow Potatoes
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team.Whether you want to plant a big crop of spuds or just a few in a container, these tips and tricks will help you raise a healthy potato harvest.So it should come as no surprise that it's just as easy to skip the produce section and start growing potatoes in your own yard.Take your pick from russet, Yukon, fingerling, and more varieties, and get your potato patch started so you can enjoy all their starchy goodness fresh from your garden.If the foliage turns yellow and begins to die back, stop watering to prepare for harvest time.This is called "earthing up" or "hilling," and it helps produce a bigger potato crop.However, if you have some potatoes that are beginning to sprout (the "eyes" have swollen, whitish shoots beginning to develop), simply plant a piece of the sprouting potato in the ground or in a roomy pot ($3, Lowe's) covered with 3 inches of soil.Large baking potato plants take much longer to mature and often produce poorly in areas with hot summer weather. .
Growing Potatoes: How to Plant & Harvest Potatoes
But in my experience, containers like these require constant attention to watering, and yield smaller harvests than growing in a raised bed.I achieve an enormous harvest—enough to feed two for nearly a year—by planting potatoes in two 4'-x-8' raised beds.The tubers are wildly productive in the well-draining, rock-free soil the beds provide, and the vines require deep watering only once each week.Of all the root vegetables I grow, it is the potatoes that give me the biggest thrill at harvest time.I love to stick my hands in the soil and retrieve the buried bounty, with a yield of eight to ten potatoes for every one that I plant.Step 2: Separate the Eyes Only small, golf ball-sized potatoes should be planted whole.I cut mine so that each segment has two or three "eyes" (the little bumps from which sprouts emerge, as shown in the photo).Either set them out in the sun, or place them on a table or counter in a warm (about 70°F), moderately lit room for three to five days.Gardeners in warm climates often plant around Valentine’s Day, while those in cooler areas may get them into the ground near Easter, or early spring.A good rule of thumb is to aim for 3-4 weeks prior to your last frost date.Small new potatoes can be ready as early as ten weeks.The closet in my mudroom doesn’t cool off until the outside temperatures plunges to 45° at night.After digging the tubers, I let them sit on top of the raised beds for a few hours to dry, as illustrated.Then I gently brush off any loose soil from the tubers, and place them in double thicknesses of paper bags.If you don’t want to bother with hilling, plant your potatoes 8-9 inches deep.To reduce the chance of infection, never plant potatoes (or tomatoes and other members of the nightshade family, such as eggplants or chili peppers) in the same patch of land without leaving an interval of at least three years.The disease overwinters in tubers left behind during the previous year’s harvest. .
How Long Do Potatoes Last? Raw, Cooked, and More
Potatoes were originally grown by native peoples of the Andes mountains in South America.The chart below details shelf lives for various types of potatoes, including sweet, russet, Yukon Gold, red, and purple varieties.Though it’s normal for potatoes to smell earthy or nutty, a musty or moldy odor is a hallmark of spoilage.A strong smell coming from an otherwise fresh-looking potato is a warning that the inside may have rotted or started to mold.These compounds can have serious side effects, including neurological and digestive symptoms like headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea ( 6 , 7, 8 , 9 ).As sprouts grow, they suck sugars and nutrients from the plant, causing it to shrivel, shrink, and lose its crunch ( 11 ).In some cases, cooked potatoes have a strong odor or visible mold that indicates spoilage.summary Some signs that uncooked potatoes have spoiled include dark spots on the skin, a soft or mushy texture, and foul odor.After a few days, they may begin to harbor pathogens and bacteria that could result in illnesses, such as salmonella, listeria, botulism, and staphylococcal food poisoning.Mold may appear as fuzz or a few dark spots that are brown, black, red, white, or bluish gray.Given that warm temperatures and moisture encourage sprouting, and exposure to light increases the rate at which glycoalkaloid toxins form, you shouldn’t store raw potatoes on the counter or in the open ( 15 ).Rather, keep in them in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry, cellar, cupboard, or cabinet that keeps out sunlight.In addition, uncooked potatoes are best left in a container — such as a box, open bowl, or perforated bag — that allows air to circulate around the tubers.Acrylamides are compounds sometimes formed in starchy foods after they’ve been cooked at high temperatures — think french fries or potato chips — and are classified as probable or likely carcinogens by some organizations ( 16 , 17 ).summary It’s best to store raw potatoes in a cool, dark place that allows air circulation. .
How Potato Grows
As the potato plant grows, its compound leaves manufacture starch that is transferred to the ends of its underground stems (or stolons). .