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When to Harvest Potatoes

hey guys Rick stone here from the blog

our stony acres and the online gardening

school welcome to 5-minute Fridays my

video series where we try and give you a

valuable gardening tip in five minutes

or less before we get started this week

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page all right so it's fall the cool

temperatures have arrived here we

actually had a little frost this week

and that means that it's time for us to

start thinking about harvesting our

potatoes and I often have questions

about when to harvest potatoes so I

thought I'd do a video this week and

give you some hints on when you should

actually harvest your potatoes in your

garden now let me start out by saying

once you've planted your potatoes and

they're up and growing about 6 to 8

weeks after they've been planted you

should see the tops flower and when

those tops flower that actually means

that there are potatoes underneath the

ground and so once you see flowers you

technically can harvest anytime after

that so kind of take that with a grain

of salt because if you harvest after

they've flowered you're gonna get just

really small potatoes that might be what

you're looking for but if you want big

mature potatoes you actually need to

wait and you need to wait quite a bit

longer so most varieties of potatoes

take at least 90 to 120 days to mature

some even longer than that and so you

need to keep if you want big mature

potatoes you need to keep those potatoes

in the ground so the real indication

that your potatoes have finished growing

they're not going to mature anymore is

when the tops start to die off so

luckily this year I have three potato

patches that were all planted at

different times and so I can show you

some video of each of these patches and

give you some hints on when not to and

when to dig your potatoes so let's start

out with this first patch this patch is

actually over in our main garden and you

can see here that the tops have died off

completely and technically I may have

waited just a little bit too long on

this patch I usually like to see a

little bit of green left on those tops

but this one actually has died off

completely that's okay it's not a big

deal but if you have problems with raw

or if you have problems with scale on

your potatoes those could be a little

bit worse if you leave them in the

ground this long the other thing is is

you risk those potatoes in the ground

actually sprouting and starting to grow

their own tops and so I usually like to

get my potatoes out a little bit sooner

than this but we had kind of a crazy

couple of weeks and I really actually

didn't get around to harvesting those

until just this last weekend so they

were maybe just a little bit overdue all

right this next bit is actually the bed

that we're sitting on here and this is a

raised bed and you can see here that the

tops have fallen over they've started to

die off we're seeing a lot of yellowing

we've seen quite a few of the tops that

have actually withered away for me this

is about the perfect time to harvest

your potatoes you want just a little bit

of green left but not a lot and so

that's kind of the perfect stage to

harvest your potatoes

now this last patch is actually not at

our garden but over at my in-laws garden

and this one I planted about two weeks

after the raised bed garden and so a

month difference between this one and

the first one that we saw and you can

see here that the the tops are still

pretty green we are starting to see a

little sagging and a little bit of fall

over but not very much and so this patch

actually is going to be able to stay in

the ground for probably another two

maybe even another three weeks before it

needs to be harvested so remember the

key to knowing when to harvest your

potatoes is when those tops have fallen

over it started to brown and died and

yellow out and that's when you know that

it's time to actually harvest those

potatoes okay now let's do just a really

quick video on harvesting as well when

you're harvesting I prefer to use a

digging fork but I broke my digging fork

this year so I'm using a shovel this

year you want to start about 18 12 to 18

inches back from the base of the plant

most of your potatoes are going to be

right there around the base of the plant

but you will have some runners that come

out and and will grow far away so you

want to start back and you want to just

carefully dig and turn that soil and

look for those potatoes as you're going

along and be careful with your shovel or

your digging fork so that you don't

skewer any of those potatoes and and

ruin them that way and then you just

kind of go through and dig the potatoes

up and very carefully and like I say

most of them are gonna be right around

that base but there will be a few in the

referee as well so you kind of just need

to turn over that soil carefully and

look for those potatoes and really

harvesting potatoes is definitely not

rocket science so once you've harvested

your potatoes then you need to bring

them in and you'll need to let them cure

and that's actually what I'm gonna talk

about in next week's video is we're

gonna talk about curing your potatoes

and how to do that so make sure you tune

in for that all right this week I do

have a couple of resources for you I

have a two or three posts on growing

potatoes and then I actually just

created a brand new post this week on

harvesting potatoes that's in the

resource section as well and then I did

want to make sure and announce to you

guys that I have a new video course

coming up on the online gardening school

this one is actually a complete guide to

growing potatoes and so goes really well

with this topic

that video course should be ready in the

next week or two so go ahead and get

that in your plans that new course will

be up and once it's up I'll add a coupon

down in the description so that you guys

can get that at a bonus price okay

alright well that's all I have for this

week make sure that you give this video

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page everybody have a great week and

happy gardening