Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Potato Harvest Part 1

Soilman has a great video about how to harvest potatoes for storage. In a nutshell he says to cut the plants down and wait 10 days before digging them up. This will protect them from blight the plants might have and increase their storage life.

The uncut potato bed 4 feet by 20 feet.

Q. James with his cute boots gave a hand.

He's quite handy with the clippers.

He works super fast!

This was a brand new garden bed. We dug it last April specifically for potatoes. We amended the soil with hay and composted manure. We planted potatoes we piled dirt and hay as around the plants as they grew with high hopes for a big harvest. But we were not very impressed with it. We planted 10 pounds and harvested 28. We've gotten much more than this from our regular garden in the past.

Maybe the soil needs more work. I also think we harvested the potatoes to early. They were pretty small. Maybe it was the kind we chose. We had German Butterball, Russet Burbank, Katahdin and Red Pontiac. Out of them all, Red Pontiac did the best. We'll plant Red Pontiac again next year. The rest will probably not make the list.

10 days later we harvested 28 pounds from about 10 pounds of starts.

As far as potato storage goes, at least we have a couple more rows of Green Mountain left in the garden to harvest. Hopefully they'll be more plenteous.


  1. Nice potato harvest! Thanks for the tip. Maybe I will plant some red pontiac this spring has to find some seeds. I just got royal blue at the moment and chitting it near the window.

  2. We didn't do as well as we expected either with our potato harvest..We still have some red ones in the garden that look as if they are growing nicely. The little that we harvested are all eaten...(made just three meals). Better luck for us next year.

  3. Cute little garden helper!

    That's a good tip to know. Our potato died early this year, so we didn't get much. I need to learn more in the potato department!

  4. It hasn't been the best year for potatoes. It may not have been as much as you expected...but, it wasn't all that bad. Last year the voles ate almost all of mine!

    Oh, you have the best little garden helper!

  5. At least you got some potatoes, I didn't plant any this year! I always waited for the plants to die down naturally before digging storage potatoes. I consider anything dug while the plants are still green to be "new" potatoes. Around here they (commercial farmers) use an herbicide to kill off the plants before harvesting the potatoes. That's a scary thought, huh? Makes you want to grow your own!

  6. Malay-Kadazan girl, you must be getting excited for spring to come. If you have trouble finding the Red Pontiac, at least you have Royal Blue.

    Ginny, You're not the only one who had potato troubles this year. I hope your reds give a great harvest.

    Sherry, He is a cute little guy. Thanks. Read Annie's Granny comment just below yours, and you'll have another great tip.

    Robin, you're right. I should be more thankful. I was hoping for 50 pounds. Half that is not bad.

    Annie's Granny, thanks for the encouragement, and especially the advice on when to harvest. I'm going to wait for our Green Mountain plants to die completely before we harvest. That should be at least 3 or 4 extra growing weeks.

  7. Oh, just read Granny's comment and that's what we do too. I don't know if it is better one way or the other so I will be curious to see how you are able to compare.

    Can you send that little guy over yonder? ;o)