When to harvest potatoes – is a question frequently asked by amateur and professional gardeners alike. While there is no hard and fast rule as to the time that potatoes should be harvested, several different factors can influence the time that they should be harvested.
When to harvest potatoes, then, is an issue that requires a closer look at what is required to grow and maintain these important plants. It may be helpful to think of potatoes as a plant and the amount of water and nutrients it takes to maintain their health and yield.
When to Harvest Potatoes?
When to harvest potatoes – or any crop for that matter – depends largely on the soil and weather conditions in the area in which they are being grown. If the soil is relatively dry and receives little to no rain, potatoes will generally not be harvested until after the first week of May, while potatoes grown in a slightly wetter environment such as a garden in the shade will be ready to harvest much sooner.
Another factor involved in the soil’s quality; poor quality soils may not support the growth of certain types of potatoes. Depending on the type of potato that one wants to grow, it may be helpful to consult a gardening book to determine which conditions best support the growth of that specific vegetable. When to harvest potatoes also depends on how early in the season the potatoes begin to appear.
When to harvest potatoes – or any crop for that matter – does not necessarily have to coincide with the planting date. Some vegetables and fruits may begin to appear in the stores or supermarkets a few weeks before their official planting date to promote better sales.
Potatoes Begin to Mature
When harvesting potatoes, then, also has a lot to do with how long it will take for the plants to reach harvestable maturity. When potatoes begin to mature, they are ready to be harvested; however, there is no limit to the time it takes. It all depends on how mature the plant is and how far away it is from being harvestable.
While some varieties of potatoes, such as the blue potato, continue to ripen for months before they’re ready to be harvested, others are best harvested in early May or later in the fall. Knowing when to harvest potatoes, then, involves knowing what varieties are in season at that particular time.
For example, while the sweet potato continues to be available well into July – though it matures later in the month – the red and white potatoes are only available in late August or early September.
When to harvest potatoes is more an issue for organic potatoes. In this case, potatoes should be harvested when they are hard and dry. If the soil is wet, it will only water the potatoes’ roots, resulting in a stunt or a plant that will not bear fruit.
Best Time to Harvest Potatoes
So the best time to harvest potatoes is dry – at least when it comes to organic varieties. However, there are potatoes grown in hydroponic systems that can be harvested at any time. When to harvest potatoes is an issue for many people who grow their own potatoes. But it is important to have a good plan so that you can get the most out of your garden every year.
So when harvesting potatoes is one that depends solely on your taste and personal preference. If you eat your potatoes raw, opt to eat them as soon as possible; if you like potatoes baked, be sure to dig them up as soon as they are ready. And above all else, remember to dig your potatoes – make sure to pick them up and eat them!