I am posting a couple of things today. I had lots of seed potatoes go out this spring, so found this article about harvesting potatoes. I am thinking some of you have all ready done that but here is some helpful hints about harvesting. Enjoy the potatoes as fall/winter is coming.
WHEN TO HARVEST POTATOES
“New potatoes,” which are potatoes that are purposefully harvested early for their smaller size and tender skin, will be ready for harvest 2 to 3 weeks after the plants stop flowering. New potatoes should not be cured and should be eaten within a few days of harvest, as they will not keep for much longer than that.
For mature potatoes, wait 2 to 3 weeks after the plant’s foliage has died back. The tops of the plants need to have completely died before you begin harvesting. Cut browning foliage to the ground and wait 10 to 14 days before harvesting to allow the potatoes to develop a thick enough skin. Don’t wait too long, though, or the potatoes may rot (especially in moisture-laden soil).
Toughen up potatoes for storage before harvest by not watering them much after mid-August.
Dig up a test hill to see how mature the potatoes are. The skins of mature potatoes are thick and firmly attached to the flesh. If the skins are thin and rub off easily, your potatoes are still too new and should be left in the ground for a few more days.
Potatoes can tolerate light frost, but when the first hard frost is expected, it’s time to get out the shovels and start digging potatoes.
HOW TO HARVEST POTATOES
Dig potatoes up on a dry day. Dig up gently, being careful not to damage the tubers. Avoid cutting or bruising potato skin. Damaged potatoes will rot during storage and should be used as soon as possible. The soil should not be compact, so digging should be easy.
If the soil is very wet, let the potatoes air-dry as much as possible before putting them in bags or baskets.
Don’t leave the potatoes that you have dug in the sun for long after they have been dug up from your garden, otherwise your potatoes may turn green. Green potatoes have a bitter taste due to the presence of solanine, and if enough is eaten, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Small spots can be trimmed off, but if there is significant greening, throw the potato out.
HOW TO STORE POTATOES
Allow freshly dug potatoes to sit in a dry, cool place (45-60°F / 7-15°C) for up to two weeks. This allows their skins to cure, which will help them keep for longer.
After curing, make sure you brush off any soil clinging to the potatoes, then store potatoes in a cool, dark place, preferably 45° to 50°F (7° to 10°C), with good ventilation. When properly stored, potatoes will remain fresh for up to a month. Throw away potatoes that are shriveled, green, or have many sprouts.
Do not store potatoes with apples; the apples’ ethylene gas will cause potatoes to spoil.
Never store potatoes in the refrigerator.
Whether you dig your own potatoes or buy them at a store, don’t wash them until right before you use them. Washing potatoes shortens their storage life.
WIT & WISDOM
Before planning your garden, take a look at our plant companions chart to see which veggies are most compatible with potatoes.
Did you know: Potato promoter Antoine Parmentier convinced Marie Antoinette to wear potato blossoms in her hair.
Grated potatoes are said to soothe sunburnt skin.
“What I say is that if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”
–A. A. Milne, English writer (1882–1956)
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/plant/potatoes
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell phone 641-903-9365