Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Harvesting potatoes

by Diane - July 20th, 2014.
Filed under: allotment.

Harvesting potatoesHarvesting potatoes
The best bit of allotmenting is harvesting your crops and taking them home to eat and enjoy.
Harvesting potatoes is easy.
Ideally pick a day when it’s not raining as it makes it easier to get the potatoes out without getting covered in mud.
The tools you’ll need are a fork and a bucket.
Pick the plant you want to dig up and move the foliage so you can see the plant properly.
Once you see where the stems come out of the ground then look at putting the fork in about 15cm from the plant. Gently put in the fork and lift the soil. You can pull on the plant stems at the same time and this can help lift the plant out.
You should see potatoes. If your plants have very few potatoes on then leave the rest of that row for another few weeks.
Put the potatoes in the bucket – even the tiny ones. remove the plant foliage and put it on the compost heap.
Dig around with your hands if the soil is loose and easy to move. Take out the potatoes. Dig the area over carefully to find any ones hiding.
Take them in, wash and boil them up and serve with butter. Delicious.

When are potatoes ready to harvest?
12 weeks for first earlies and 16 weeks or so for main crops. Usually the flowers will have appeared and finished and then they’re ready to harvest.

Harvesting potatoes is a great task for children to help with. They will have fun spotting the potatoes hiding in the soil.

Tiny potatoes can be cooked still – for less time of course. They are a nuisance to wash though.

Harvesting sweet potatoes – Takes between 12 and 16 weeks before they have reached maturity. The plants will start to die back giving you the clue they are ready to be lifted from the ground. The sweet potatoes should be dug up before the first frosts or before excess rain which may cause them to rot in the ground. Lift and store in the same way as you would harvest potatoes.

How to harvest potatoes and other crops – an ebook to help you discover some useful hints and tips on getting the best harvest you can from your allotment.