Nothing can beat the taste of fresh potatoes, but one question always arises in every new gardener’s mind – when are potatoes ready to harvest? Homegrown potatoes have tasty flavors and eye-catching texture, which you can’t get from any grocery store.
To know when are potatoes ready to harvest, you need to know their type; if the potato is early potato or maincrop, the time for potatoes to stay in the ground, and to learn about its flowers and foliage. Know about the perfect season to harvest potatoes.
If you are new to gardening, then consult with a professional gardener and try the techniques. The first and second earlies and maincrop are the types of potatoes to be grown.
Let’s dig deeper into when are potatoes ready to harvest–
Table of Contents
The best potato type comes under the first early category and is the earliest crop that matures. First earlies, known as ‘new potato’, but the question remains the same; when to harvest them or in other sense when are potatoes ready to harvest.
Seedlings of first earlies planted between March and April and ready for harvest after every 10 – 12 weeks. This ensures a tasty crop for June and July, just in the scorching heat of summer.
No tubers grow till flowering is not complete, so it’s not a good option to dig the potatoes out. Easy to grow, delicious in taste, and gives a feeling of fun while digging potatoes up.
If not sure when potatoes are ready or not, slowly dig over the plant and search for potatoes. If the size of the potato is just the size of an egg or somewhat larger, then the potato is ready for harvest.
No worries, just leave the potatoes in the soil for more time.
The second earlies is the better way to extend the potato crop for a few more weeks, particularly till August’s end. The crop is planted in April and is ready to harvest in around 10 – 12 weeks. It is not ready for harvesting till flowering is not done. Second earlies start maturing three weeks later.
It’s better to wait for the right time to harvest potatoes, have a short growing season, and the size of this type of potato is small and tastes nice. Make sure to water second earlies on dry days. Tubers need enough water to increase, so instead of low watering, give second earlies good soaking once a week.
The main crop types of potatoes are best planted in April. They require a long period of growth compared to the first and second earlies and need much care during growing. But, when are potatoes ready to harvest? This type of potato is ready to harvest around 15 – 20 weeks, in September.
Leave the maincrop to grow into the big size and store the potatoes to use in winter. Keep a proper check on the crop for diseases and pests. This type of potato is stored for winter use, so the stems need to die off completely, and the skin of potatoes needs to be set.
When are potatoes ready to harvest
When talking about first and second earlies, they can be left in the ground but don’t leave them for 2 – 3 weeks after harvesting. Make sure that the first and second earliest type of potatoes are not left in the ground for a longer time, as they will lose their delicious and fresh taste and skin starts to become hard and thick.
It is better to eat these types of potatoes within one day of harvesting and store the potatoes in a dry and cool place for seven days. Many types of potatoes do not store well in cool places and lose their fresh taste despite many struggles. Fresh things are best for health, so use them.
Harvesting of Maincrop potatoes
When are potatoes ready to harvest for the type of main crop potatoes, mainly during August to September. The perfect time for harvesting is when many flowers convert into yellow.
During the harvesting process, scrap an inch of the plant above ground, then leave tubers in the ground for a few weeks before lifting them. The activity makes the skin tough and good for storage purposes.
It can be stored in a cool and dry area for months; make sure no destroyed potato remains behind in the sack as it will damage other potatoes. Sometimes I need to store this type of potato in the dark to avoid greening and sprouting. Remember not to eat green potatoes as these types of potatoes are very toxic.
Process of harvesting potato
Choose dry days for harvesting potatoes as moist days can rot the potatoes and can spread diseases. Be careful while performing the process. Don’t pierce or cut potatoes when you are digging tubers. If, by mistake, the potato gets a slice, then eat the potato immediately. Place a bowl near you so that sliced potato can be immediately shifted to the kitchen.
When flowering starts, start harvesting new potatoes by reaching the field and lifting some tubers from every plant. Instead of using any tool, use gloved hands to avoid the destruction of plants; make sure that your hands are clean while performing this activity. When you are done with harvesting, place the soil back and cover the plants with soil.
If harvesting is done from a container or bag, then reach the soil, search for tubers, and take a few tubers from each plant. Once done with harvesting, spray some amount of fish emulsion fertilizer to see healthy growth.
For harvesting storage potatoes, put a garden fork just a few distances away from the plant and lift root mass. Remember to use gloved hands for the process of searching lost tubers. When you are done with harvesting, slowly remove the soil from the potatoes and allow the potatoes to become dry. Remember not to wash tubers.
Storing of potatoes
When are potatoes ready to harvest is an essential topic to know for gardeners, but storing potatoes is equally important to know. It is essential to cure potatoes before storing them, so the skin becomes thick, and storage life becomes great.
Put the potatoes on a newspaper, cardboard, etc., in a cool and dark area with high humidity for almost 1 – 2 weeks. Choose a good air circulation area.
When the curing process is done, shift the potatoes to containers and cover them with cardboard to avoid light. Experience the taste of new potatoes soon after the process of harvesting.
Points to know while harvesting
To know when potatoes are ready to harvest, you need to know some tips that will greatly help in harvesting. Once the harvesting time comes, then the fun starts. Harvesting potatoes is not so tough. Let’s know about some tips.
● Always use correct tools for harvesting potatoes.
● Proper use of a digging fork helps to dig every plant gently.
● Work properly, work around the base of the plant so that no harm is done to the plant.
● Once you lift the plant from the soil, tubers come out from the soil. Just pick the tubers and make use of your hands to search for leftover potatoes in the soil.
● Choose a dry day for potato harvesting, as it would be easy for you.
● If the potatoes get damaged, consume these potatoes in a few days of harvesting.
Potato growing in bags
Homegrown potatoes are best in taste and easy to grow. Potatoes can be grown quickly if your garden has enough space. You want to know – when are potatoes ready to harvest, firstly? You need to grow them whether indoors or outdoors. Let’s know about how to grow potatoes in bags.
● Firstly, buy seed potatoes and sprout them before planting. This makes the growing process faster and enhances the yield.
● Keep the potatoes in a cool place so that growth can be good, and also, the place should be devoid of frost.
● Once your seed potato starts sprouting, it’s ready to plant. You need seed potatoes, a bag, and compost for the growing process.
● Now, fill the bag with compost(quarterly). Then place the seed potatoes into the bag with their shoots sprouting upwards.
● Now, cover the seed potatoes with more compost and give them enough water.
Enjoy the harvesting season with full excitement! Experience the fresh taste of new potatoes grown in your garden. Proper care should be taken while harvesting and growing potatoes. The demand for potatoes is increasing day by day so grow them with utmost care.
According to guidelines, store the potatoes with great care. Potatoes are ready for harvesting just after complete flowering and during dry days. It is necessary to harvest potatoes when the plant dies back, as potatoes can rot if the soil is moist. The tubers will come again in spring and survive winters if you grow potatoes in a dry area.
Q1. Can potatoes be dug up before flowering?
When flowering starts to appear on shoots and stems, then it’s an indication of maturing tubers. For the first and second earliest types of potatoes, harvesting is done when flowering is complete, and so is the primary crop type of potato. Don’t dig up the potatoes before the flowering stage.
Q2. What happens when potatoes don’t bloom?
If your potato plant doesn’t bloom, it contains a toxic product that can cause harm to the consumer. To check if the potato contains toxic products or not, you need to see the potato’s colour – if green, then the potato comprises toxin.
Q3. How many potatoes can you get from one plant?
The technique of growing potatoes is fun-loving and straightforward. If taken care of properly, then the plant will blossom in a better way, and potatoes production will be nice. From a single plant, you can get three to six regular-size potatoes and a few small-size potatoes.
Q4. Do potatoes require water every day?
If you want proper growth of potatoes, then enough water should be given to the plant. When the day becomes so dry and hot, plants need deep water during the first week of planting water every four to five days. This act will avoid the plant from becoming dry.
Q5. How to enhance potato production?
To increase the yield of potatoes, you need to follow two key points. One is a tuber number, and the other one is a tuber size. Enhanced production is done by maintaining the proper blossom of the plant and by increasing tuber weight.
That was all about when are potatoes ready to harvest, If you found this article insightful, kindly leave down the comments.
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