How & when to harvest potatoes
Craving those deliciously creamy, tender potatoes? Here is how & when to harvest them, wash them sustainably and what to do with green potatoes.
When to harvest potatoes:
Once most of your potato plants are in full bloom it is a great time to harvest! Especially if you want to harvest new or baby potatoes. If you are looking for full-size yumminess, you can wait until the blooms have begun to fade, leaves have turned yellow and brown and petals have started to drop. This means that the plant has put all of its energy into the tubers, and it’s time to get digging!
How to harvest potatoes:
Always harvest potatoes with gentle care. Use a fork (not a shovel) and dig down on the side of the plant to gradually loosen the soil around it. Repeat several times to find all potatoes hiding underneath. Harvesting potatoes is one of our favourite garden tasks. The excitement to find out what surprise of the delicious gold hiding under the surface of the bushy green plants.
Harvesting step by step:
- Use a fork to loosen up the soil around each plant.
- Harvest the potatoes with gentle care. As you dig and collect the potatoes, try to not harm the thin skin. The potato will go bad faster if it gets damaged.
- Gently lift up the soil several times to find all the fin all hidden potato treasures hiding underneath the surface.
Tips: Spread nettle pulp on the compost pile. Use collected rainwater for the fertilizer tea, as it naturally contains occurring organisms that will hasten the fermentation process. If you keep using the high-nitrogen nettle fertilizer on flowering plants, you’ll have a lot of greenery but very few flowers or fruit. Stop using it on flowering plants once the plants begin to set flowers, but on non-flowering plants, you can keep using your stinging nettle fertilizer.
4. If you are planning on eating them soon, you can use a bucket/strain and wash them directly outside. The water overflow will be absorbed and utilized by your garden.
5. NEVER throw away green potatoes, save them for seeding! Green potatoes should not be eaten, but when you plant them, the crop will be fine! Potato tubers exposed to light will become green naturally as the plant seeks to harvest the light. Although the green comes from the pigment chlorophyll, the potatoes contain the toxic solanine, that forms when any part of a potato plant is exposed to light. So save to seed, not to eat!
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