Harvesting Potatoes

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mew
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Harvesting Potatoes

Post: # 63262Post mew »

I had a sneaky peake to see if any of my earlies were ready (some were but some were still only an inch in diameter) so took a few of the bigger ones and put the earth back.

Do folks normally harvest their potatoes all in one go or just take them as and when they need them?

If you harvest them all at once, what do you use to store them and how long do first and second earlies normally store for?

Many thanks
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Post: # 63297Post glenniedragon »

I do them as and when, particularily earlies as they taste best cooked on the day they are dug IMO, as new boilies mmmmmmm


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Post: # 63309Post Jack »

Gidday

I do exactly what you have done. Take a feed off them at a time till they are ready. Then I just harvest one root at a time because they actually keep better where they grew as far as I am concerned anyway.
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Post: # 63352Post hedgewizard »

Both first and second earlies are best eaten straight out of the ground, on the day you dig them up (storing them loses the "new potato" taste very quickly). You should carefully move soil away from the base of a typical plant to see if the potatoes are the size of hen's eggs yet, and start harvesting one plant at a time as soon as they are.

The plants are worth checking as soon as the flowers start to drop or dry out, and once the spuds get too big then they're essentially maincrops that won't store well. You have to work out how many plants you'll get through before the spuds are getting too big, which is why many people grow second earlies as well as first. I grew ten of each this year and the remainder to maincrop (for storage), and it looks as if ten each may have been a few too many.

By the way, don't wait for the smallest potatoes to get up to size if it means waiting too long! The smaller they are, the better the taste (up to a point) so it's a trade-off of taste vs yield.
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Post: # 63365Post kimmysmum »

When I grow my Potatos I have some that I pick early and other s I leave until the entire plant dies off. Because I use Potato cages it makes it easier to select the types for early use a nice chat potato steamed along with a hearty curry in the winter YUM YUM

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Post: # 63371Post george »

I pick them as I need them too. Mostly I just stick my hand in the soil and pull out enough for that day and then at the end of the season (just before the frosts hit) dig the whole bed up. I get potatoes from December to about May straight out of the ground (in NZ) and then store the rest for as long into the winter as I can.

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Post: # 63386Post Jack »

Gidday

Hey good to see ya George.

I found that if you mound extra soil up our the rows and just leav em in the ground I can harvest one or two roots at a time right through the winter and into spring, until the ground starts to warm up too much and they start sprouting.

If you can protect them, proper, even down here in inland Otago I have actually had new spuds, small I will admit, at the end of October, just after I had finished digging the main croppers.
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Post: # 63392Post george »

Thanks for that Jack. I will give it a try next year as I have already dug them all out this year but am still eating my way through them. I was told that they just wouldn't survive in the frost. Mind you I also get a few small ones early in the year that just grow wild in the compost bin.

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Post: # 63423Post mew »

Thanks for that everyone, its a good job I didnt go and lift them all up at once then.
MEW x

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Post: # 63444Post Stonehead »

We grow both first and second earlies, harvesting them a plant at a time. We also grow main crop, 1.5 tonnes last year, and these are stored in reinforced 10cwt coal bunkers, layered with straw.

We're just finishing the last of the stored ones now. The final ones will go into our brewing vats to make spiced potato wine and barley wine.

The main things with storage are darkness, low temperatures (just above freezing) and good airflow to keep the potatoes dry. Oh, and rat proofing!
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Post: # 63449Post ina »

Stonehead wrote: The main things with storage are darkness, low temperatures (just above freezing) and good airflow to keep the potatoes dry. Oh, and rat proofing!
... and mouse proofing - the mice got my last ones! They even dug into a bucket in which I'd grown them - found that they keep best in the bucket, in the garage/ B****s!
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Post: # 63471Post Jack »

Gidday

George, if you heap enough soil over the rows in the autumn it will insulate them enough for them not to hget frosted.

I use "rocket" spuds for my earlies because they are the fastest growing. They only take 60 days to get your first feed.

And StoneHead, I have never though of making spud wine from the end of season ones. That sounds a brilliant idea but what does it taste like?
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Post: # 63484Post Wombat »

The process of sneaking spuds while the plant remains growing is called "bandicooting" here in Aus.

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Post: # 63515Post contadina »

Morning all. I harvested all of our spuds a couple of weeks ago as is the norm in southern Italy. Although I'd been picking them as and when needed everyone digs the lot up after the festa of Saint Antonio in mid-June. I love the way that the gardener's diary is tied in with religious one over here - it makes it very easy for everyone to remember stuff!

As temperatures soared to 45% during the day and 28% at night last week I guess that this why it is prudent to harvest when we did. My question relates to their storage in such hot conditions. I've followed my neighbours leads in that I have placed them in wooden fruit boxes and stacked them in a dark corner of our trullo (these are built with double dry stone walls that create a thermos effect that keep things cooler and are therefore ideal for storing food). The ambient temperature in the trullo is mid 20s at the moment, so much higher than just above freezing!

I've been told that I should eat the smallest ones first as the bigger ones will last longer, so have stacked them accordingly. Does anyone have any tips on how we can keep them in an edible condition for the longest period in a hot climate.

Thanks all and I wish you all a spudtastic weekend.

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Post: # 63527Post Millymollymandy »

Is it cooler in your house? I stored all my spuds in a cupboard in the downstairs bathroom because it is the coldest room in the house (winter and summer!), rarely getting over 20C in the summer.

I also dug up all my spuds (not all in one go, but a row at a time). Dried them out then put into heavy duty paper sacks like feed grain ones and stored indoors.

They stored for many months even though they'd grow eyes but I just rubbed them off.

Didn't grow any this year though.

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