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Harvesting Potatoes

how and when to harvest potatoes

How do you know when to harvest potatoes in fall?

Although you can harvest new potatoes a few weeks after the plants have flowered in late summer, spuds grown for winter storage should be harvested 2 to 3 weeks after the foliage has browned and died back to the ground in September/October.

It is also good to take up a few potatoes to make sure their skins are thick and tough and not easily rubbed off. If the skins are firmly attached, then use a spade or shovel, to gently lift and loosen the soil around your plants trying not to damage the potatoes. Once loosened, I like to grub through the soil looking for the potatoes with the same excitement as an Easter egg hunt in spring. There is something immensely satisfying about running your hands though damp cold soil teaming with earthworms and the smell of fresh potatoes on a crisp autumn day!

Fun fact: The word “spud” originally referred to a specific tool used to drill holes in soil prior to planting potatoes.

Also, see our post: How to Plant Potatoes (step-by-step video)

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