I’m constantly asking you what your biggest battles are with gardening so that I can help as much as possible.
Well, it turns out that one of the most typical struggles with new veggie gardeners is understanding when to collect their crops– and potato harvesting is among the most typical things that individuals ask me about.
So if you’re wondering when to gather potatoes from your garden, then this post is for you!
Considering that potatoes grow underground, it’s challenging to understand when to harvest them the first time you grow them.
I know I was entirely clueless about this myself the very first time I grew potatoes!
The good news is that it’s pretty easy to determine when to harvest potatoes because the plant will inform you when the potatoes are ready. They’re so wise!
WHEN TO HARVEST POTATOES
The easy answer is that potatoes are prepared to gather once the plant passes away back. Potatoes are tubers that save the energy that enables the plant to grow.
As soon as the plant starts to die back, that suggests all of the energy is being kept in the bulbs (the potatoes), and they are preparing to go inactive.
Don’t leave the potatoes in the ground too long after the plant dies back or they will begin to rot.
Potato harvesting generally occurs in the fall, once the daytime temperatures start to get cooler.
Potatoes can take a light frost, but make certain to gather them before it gets listed below freezing.
If possible, dig up your potatoes on a dry day when the soil is on the dry side.
SUGGESTIONS FOR COLLECTING POTATOES.
Now that you know when to collect potatoes, I wished to give you some ideas for harvesting potatoes too. Given that the potatoes are underground, it can make harvesting them a bit challenging.
It’s best to start digging a number of inches away from the base of the plant so that you don’t harm any of the potatoes.
Make certain to thoroughly dig all the way under the clump of potatoes to loosen up the soil.
I find it easier to dig in the soil with my hands once it’s relaxed a bit so that I don’t cut or chop a bunch of potatoes in half as I’m digging with the shovel.
Be mild with the potatoes as you gather them. Do not thoughtlessly drop them into a container or toss them into a stack. Harmed and bruised potatoes won’t keep well.
Also, too much light will make potatoes turn green, so do not enable them to being in the sun for too long after you collect them.
Inspect each potato for indications of rot or other damage after you’re done collecting them.
If you cut or pierce any of the potatoes as you’re digging, that’s ok. They are still edible! Simply consume those up first and don’t attempt to keep them.
If you plan on keeping your potatoes, don’t clean them after you gather them. Simply brush off any large clumps of dirt with your hands, taking care not to damage or peel off parts of the skin in the process.
You do not require to be fussy about this and get all the dirt off though, just any large clumps.
Much like onions, potatoes should be cured (dried) before you can save them.
Allow your potatoes to being in the garage or dry basement for a few weeks to dry out completely before keeping them. Store potatoes in a cool, dry and dark place.
If any of your potatoes in storage start to sprout, utilize those very first (or save them and plant them in your garden in the spring!).
Warm temperatures will cause the potatoes to grow faster, and if it’s too damp the potatoes will only rot.
A dark pantry or root cellar are best choices (I sure desire I had a root cellar!).
If you select the right location, potatoes will last for several months in storage and you can delight in garden fresh potatoes all winter season long. Yum !!