Growing potatoes is relatively easy. However, you may find it tricky when it comes to harvesting. You may be wondering when to harvest potatoes especially since the tubers are below the soil. Depending on your intended purposes such as immediate consumption or storage for some time, here are what you need to know about harvesting potatoes.
New potatoes are harvested early in a span of 2 to 3 weeks after the plants stop flowering. It is an ideal time to harvest your potatoes if you intend to use them immediately or store for a few days. They are smaller in size and their skin is tender.
If you intend to store your potatoes for a more extended period, wait until the foliage starts to wither and die. Fall or early winter is the most appropriate time to harvest your produce. To determine when to harvest potatoes that can be stored for a longer time, dig up a potato from one of the plants and see if the skin scrubs easily.
Mature potatoes that are ready for harvesting have a firm and thick skin. If the skin scrubs off easily, then your potatoes are not ready yet; give it some time for the skin to harden and keep testing.
Harvesting Better Produce
For better mature potato produce, it is recommended that you cut the foliage once it starts to wither. This is because the foliage can harbor diseases that can be transferred to your potato tubers affecting their quality. It is also an excellent method of allowing the tubers to develop a thicker and firm skin and storing as much starch as possible.
As you consider when to harvest potatoes, it is also advisable to consider the weather and the soil’s temperature. It is advisable to harvest your potatoes when the weather has been dry for a couple of days. As you dig up your potatoes, be careful to ensure that you do not bruise the skin or puncture your produce.