When to harvest potatoes – for a tasty crop

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When you harvest potatoes depends connected the benignant of murphy you privation to produce: aboriginal oregon retention (maincrop). Ideally, works a furniture of each truthful that you tin harvest caller potatoes successful aboriginal summertime for salads and barbecues, and larger potatoes for roasts and baking successful the fall. 

As a wide rule, if you are growing potatoes that are an aboriginal variety, you tin archer erstwhile to harvest them by watching the flowers unfastened oregon the buds drop. This volition usually beryllium astir mid-June oregon aboriginal July. Once harvested, they are acceptable to eat, and don't store well. For champion results, harvest them connected the time you privation to devour them.

Maincrop potatoes are usually acceptable to harvest betwixt August and October. The proposal is to hold until the foliage turns yellow, earlier cutting it disconnected and waiting 10 days earlier harvesting. These potatoes store well, truthful you tin harvest them each astatine once.

These dates volition alteration a small depending connected assorted factors; below, we spell into much item astir erstwhile to harvest potatoes truthful you tin get the champion results.

When to harvest potatoes

How-to-grow-potatoes-Miracle-gro

(Image credit: Miracle-gro)

Potatoes are categorized into 3 groups: first earlies, second earlies and maincrop

First earlies are your 'new' potatoes; these are the quickest to turn and volition beryllium acceptable 10 weeks aft planting erstwhile the murphy is flowering. 

‘Because of the tiny size of archetypal aboriginal potatoes, these potatoes turn good successful containers oregon potato sacks,’ points retired Francesco Ponziani, Horticulturist astatine RHS (opens successful caller tab) Garden Harlow Carr.

This means harvesting archetypal aboriginal potatoes successful June oregon July. The works volition inactive beryllium flowering, and the potatoes a mates of inches across. Don't consciousness you person to harvest these potatoes each astatine the aforesaid time; allowing the works to proceed to turn its potatoes portion removing conscionable capable to devour with your fingers is simply a large mode to guarantee continued entree to caller produce.

Second earlies see somewhat larger and much interesting-tasting potatoes specified arsenic ‘Jazzy’, ‘Kestrel’ and ‘Ratte’. These volition beryllium acceptable 13 weeks aft planting erstwhile the works is inactive flowering. 

This means harvesting these potatoes successful July and August; arsenic with archetypal earlies, they're champion harvested connected the time you privation to devour them. As with earlies, these potatoes are champion harvested by hand.

Maincrop potatoes see murphy staples specified arsenic ‘Maris Piper’ and ‘Desiree’, cleanable for roasting, baking and mashing. These volition beryllium acceptable 20 weeks aft planting, from August until aft the archetypal frosts successful October. By then, the potato's foliage volition person died off, truthful chopped it off, hold for 10 days to fto the skins thicken, past harvest the full plant, utilizing a plot fork. The potatoes harvested volition alteration successful size and store well, though fto them adust retired earlier storage.

How agelong aft the plants angiosperm tin I harvest potatoes?

You tin harvest potatoes, depending connected their variety, from astir 9 weeks to 13 weeks aft planting potatoes, erstwhile the flowers appear. At this point, these 'new' potatoes volition beryllium lone astir 2 inches wide. 

If, however, you are harvesting maincrop potatoes, you volition request to permission them successful the crushed longer – astir 3 months. By then, the flowers volition person dropped and the plant's foliage volition person yellowed and adjacent dried a little. 

A motion to ticker for is simply a mound forming astir the murphy plant's stem – this is wherever nice, sizeable, juicy potatoes are pushing the world upwards supra them.

If you are readying to store your maincrop potatoes, you volition privation to permission them a fewer hours to adust retired earlier storing. 

How tin I shorten murphy harvesting time?

You can't shorten harvest clip with potatoes that are already successful the crushed immoderate much than we person advised above, but you tin shorten increasing times with chitting adjacent season. 

‘Chitting is simply a method of preparing tubers for planting which breaks their dormancy artificially and initiates growth,’ explains Francesco. ‘Reducing the clip successful which potatoes are acceptable to harvest.’

How to harvest potatoes

To harvest aboriginal potatoes, you tin usage your hands to region conscionable what you need; ideally, provender the murphy afterwards to promote much growth. If you are increasing earlies successful a instrumentality and privation to harvest the potatoes each astatine once, you tin crook them retired into a larger instrumentality oregon connected to a patio truthful that you tin prime retired the potatoes with ease.

To harvest maincrop oregon retention potatoes, archetypal chopped the plants to the crushed and hold for 10 days to let the skins to thicken. Then hold for a adust day, and excavation up the full works with a fork oregon spade, being cautious not to spear immoderate potatoes arsenic you go. 

‘Make definite that you cull immoderate greenish potatoes arsenic these tin beryllium poisonous,’ advises Kate Turner, Gardening Guru astatine Miracle-Gro (opens successful caller tab)

Brush disconnected the soil, let to adust for an hr outdoors and store determination dry.

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