The potato harvest begins as early as June with the digging up of the new potatoes. Mid-early potatoes follow from around the end of August. Later varieties can be harvested until October.
- When is the right time to plant potatoes in the garden?
- Pre-germinate potatoes - a worthwhile head start
- Keeping potatoes with onions - not such a good idea!
Signs of maturity
With mid-early and late potatoes, wait until the potato leaves have died. Then you carefully dig up a plant. If the potatoes peel off easily and you cannot rub the skin of the tuber with your fingers, the potato is ready to be harvested.
Important: If your potato plants show signs of late blight, you should start harvesting the tubers immediately. This prevents the fungus from spreading to the tubers and the harvest is saved.
Harvest new potatoes
New potatoes are harvested when the herb is still green. After 60 days at the earliest, carefully dig up a tuber and rub your finger over the skin. The same applies here: if the skin remains firm, the potato is ripe. You can only store new potatoes for a few days.
Digging up the potatoes
To harvest the potatoes, you need a digging fork, which protects the tubers from injuries. Alternatively, you can use a special potato hoe or spade.
The digging fork is stuck into the ground next to the plant and applied like a lever. Then pull the potato plant out of the ground by the stalk. The tubers can be easily removed from the plant. You should also carefully dig up the soil around the plant, potatoes are also hiding here.
Potatoes don't have to be harvested all at once. As long as they are well covered with soil, they can remain in the ground for some time. You can let the soil dry on the bed so that the soil can be better detached from the tubers. The potato tops are disposed of on the compost.
Sort the potatoes
- Potatoes with green spots are rejected. They contain the poisonous solanine and are neither edible nor usable as food.
- Potatoes with brown spots are also discarded
- You can use approx. 3 cm large tubers as seed potatoes for the next one
- It is best to eat potatoes that have been damaged during harvest straight away
This is how potatoes are stored properly
Potatoes are best stored in a dark room, this prevents green spots from forming. A ventilated cellar at temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius is ideal. Heat (which promotes germ formation) and frost (which converts starch into sugar) are undesirable.
Potato trays, lattice boxes or airy vegetable boxes are suitable for storage. Buckets or plastic containers are unsuitable. You always have to sort out rotting potatoes.
Tips & Tricks
After the potatoes die, you should wait about 3 weeks before harvesting them. Then the peel can be firmer and the potatoes can be stored longer.