When and How to Harvest Potatoes

Home and Garden - Gardening
By: DianeAllen    
17-Apr-2013

Introduction:When I was a child my mom told me that picking up potatoes was like looking for Easter eggs. It was a family activity and a learning experience - hard work done together to provide something to benefit the whole family.

  • 01

    When Are the Potatoes Ready to Dig Up?

    About 10 weeks after your potatoes start to sprout up out of the ground the vines will begin to turn yellow.
    This is a good sign that the potatoes are ready to harvest.
    Take a rake or shovel and dig carefully under one of the plants.
    You should find a "nest" of potatoes.

  • 02

    Choose the Proper Weather to Dig Up Your Potatoes

    Wait until the ground has been dry for a few days before you start to take up your potatoes.
    Digging them up when the ground is muddy will make the whole process very difficult and a lot of your potatoes will rot.

  • 03

    Gather Buckets to Hold the Potatoes

    You will need a small to medium bucket for each person who will be helping pick up the potatoes.
    You will need several large buckets or bushel sized baskets to empty the potatoes into.

  • 04

    Plow the Potato Rows

    It isn't necessary to remove the plants first if you are using a tractor.
    Each row should be plowed while those who are helping walk along behind and pick up all the potatoes in the row.
    The tractor should go through each row several times to make sure no potatoes are left in the ground.

  • 05

    Storing the Potatoes

    When all the potatoes have been picked up and put into the larger containers they will need to be taken to a spot where they can be spread out to prevent rotting.
    A cool dry spot is best - a root cellar, an unused stable where there is hay to spread the potatoes out on, even a corner of your garage.
    They need to be in a place where there is no danger of freezing in the winter and where they won't get wet.
    You can begin eating the potatoes the day they are harvested!




Final Thoughts

If you have a large garden spot you will want to use a tractor for harvesting but if you have just a small spot you can take the potatoes up by hand with a shovel.


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