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Old 05-04-2020, 09:16 PM
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kev kev is offline
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Default When do you harvest potatoes?



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One of the common questions I see about potatoes is when should they be harvested? The simple answer is potatoes can be harvested anytime. Typically, potatoes will start forming several weeks after the seed potato was planted and the plant top formed.

However, if you want maximum production, wait until the tops of the plants start to die.



A couple of weeks before potatoes are ready to harvest blooms may appear on the top of the plant. Some people may think seeds are suppose to be saved from the blooms, but that is not true. Potatoes are grown from part of last years harvest.

This years potato crop was planted in early February. Even though they were planted early, the harvest time did not change as the the potato cuttings sat in the ground for several weeks before sprouting.

This years crop is a little different as it is being grown during the Coronavirus outbreak. We typically give a lot of potatoes away. However, I suspect this year we are going to save most of them and put them into storage.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:42 PM
Ronald_55 Ronald_55 is offline
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I have known folks that leave them in the ground all winter if the winters in the area are on the milder side. Just go dig a hill when you need some.
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:07 PM
down under down under is offline
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Yes, as Ronald_55 says, you can leave them in the ground in mild areas.
Commercial growers will spray the tops to kill them, leave the tubers in the ground and dig them up as they can sell them.

It might be my imagination but they seem to taste better fresh out of the ground too!
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:25 PM
Rosebud Rosebud is offline
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The longer you can leave them in the ground before you harvest them, the longer they will store once they are harvested. Just don't leave them in the ground so long that they start to sprout again as the weather warms up.
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:56 PM
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I used to dig them when the tops died, but someone told me to leave them in the ground until fall. They store a lot longer when I do that.
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:38 PM
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We typically harvest at the first good frost, which is early September. We won’t get them into the ground until the very end of May.
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:50 PM
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All good info for me. Been growing veggies for years, but just started taking potato growing serious last year. I guess because I got away from eating many of them for several years, then fell in love with them again. Now I crave them and could eat them daily. Thanks all for the input, and to Kev for starting the thread.

Last edited by Ole Grunt; 05-04-2020 at 11:51 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:24 AM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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I put my sweet potatoes in the ground around 1st of May then dig them the day before the 1st frost is called for, usually end of September
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilmac View Post
I used to dig them when the tops died, but someone told me to leave them in the ground until fall. They store a lot longer when I do that.
This is true.
I store our few we raise or purchase in a potato clamp in the middle of the garden. I think they taste better stored in the earth. Also, they don't loose their moisture and swivel up. They will keep until ur able to rob new potatoes from hills.

Our frost line/frost depth is 20". Although the ground hasn't froze no more than couple inches for years. Its not feasible or productive to leave them in the hills they were grown in no latter than late fall. We do have grubs, rodents, and wet weather that can effect the spuds.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:14 AM
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I guess if you leave them in the ground, you don't have to worry about critters and bugs eating them?
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no guns here View Post
I guess if you leave them in the ground, you don't have to worry about critters and bugs eating them?
Nematodes.

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Old 05-05-2020, 01:45 PM
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Other than snagging a few for 'eating'... I like to wait a long as possible in the Fall here in Michigan. To do this, I make sure the soil is covering any exposed potatoes as the vines die back. When the nights start dropping into the low 40's F, I clean and hose down the root cellar to clean it up for winter. Then, I open the root cellar and run a fan over night to blow in 'cold air' to help chill the walls for a few evenings. I use an old pull behind potato digger which saves a lot of labor, but does damage some.

The dug potatoes go into the barn to avoid the sunlight and get sorted.... those with damage to be eaten & given away in Nov/Dec, and those to go into the root cellar for the long run. I also set aside the best of the best for next years seed potatoes.

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Old 05-05-2020, 02:10 PM
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My grandfather had a tradition of digging potatoes on his birthday, July 1st. This was in Northeast Alabama during the 1930's-1940's, your mileage may vary.
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:52 PM
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We plant our potatoes anywhere from mid February to maybe the first week of March, depending on how wet the soil is. Then they're dug late May to mid June or so, depending on when they were planted.

This year they didn't get in until March 12 because of 8" of rain in February so digging will be sometime in June, I guess.

Sweet potato slips will go in this Thursday and probably dug around mid September.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:00 PM
powderandprimers powderandprimers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
A couple of weeks before potatoes are ready to harvest blooms may appear on the top of the plant. Some people may think seeds are suppose to be saved from the blooms, but that is not true. Potatoes are grown from part of last years harvest..
You can grow from the seeds but they will not grow true, but they will indeed produce potatoes. The seeds are viable for quite a few years. So maybe save some for 'just in case'.
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:44 PM
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I suppose that you could choose the best tubers from spuds grown from seed and plant them the next season. Be interesting to play with.
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