Others Vegetables

How to Know when Potatoes Are ready to Harvest

By Sara . Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Know when Potatoes Are ready to Harvest

Potato is an extremely versatile vegetable. It can be baked, boiled, steamed, mashed, fried and can be cooked in every possible way. As it is said, there is never a wrong way to cook potatoes. Growing this awesome vegetable in our own kitchen garden can prove to be a great investment as you would always have a supply of your own organic potatoes. While growing potatoes one is often confused as to how to know when the potatoes are ready to harvest. Keep reading this OneHowTo article to find the answer.

You may also be interested in: How to Grow Lettuce Indoors at Home
  1. Types of potatoes
  2. When to harvest Potatoes
  3. How to harvest Potatoes
  4. Storing potatoes

Types of potatoes

While growing, you will come across two types of potatoes. One is the new potato and the other is the mature potato.

  • New Potatoes: New potatoes are the young tubers of the potato plant and are quite small in size with soft skin. They are consumed soon after harvest as they can’t be stored for a long period of time.
  • Mature Potatoes: Mature potatoes are harvested some weeks after the new potatoes. They have firm skin that doesn’t come off easily. They can be stored for a longer period of time than the new potatoes.

When to harvest Potatoes

As there are two types of potato, each one will need to be harvested at a different time. Take a look at how to harvest each variety:

New Potatoes

Usually new potatoes are harvested 10 weeks after planting the potato plant. When the flowers of the potato plants start to bloom the first time, it is time to harvest the new potatoes.

Mature Potatoes

Mature potatoes are usually harvested when all the foliage of the potato plant has withered and died.

How to Know when Potatoes Are ready to Harvest - When to harvest Potatoes

How to harvest Potatoes

Know you know when the right time to harvest them is, let's take a look at how to do so properly.

New Potatoes

When you see that the first flower has bloomed in the potato plant, be ready to harvest the sweet new potatoes. Instead of digging out the entire plant, carefully move aside the soil around the roots. Then carefully remove a few potatoes from each plant. Make sure not to harm the roots and to handle the potatoes carefully as their skin is quite soft.

Mature Potatoes

Since the foliage dies before harvesting the mature potatoes, you can just dig up the whole plant. At first, dig up one or two of them and check the skin. If the skin is soft and can be scrubbed off easily when rubbed then leave them for a few days. When the skin doesn’t scrub off when rubbed with fingers, then the potatoes are ready to harvest. Dig them out and store them for future use.

How to Know when Potatoes Are ready to Harvest - How to harvest Potatoes

Storing potatoes

New potatoes can’t be stored and taste best when eaten on the same day it is harvested.

Mature potatoes can be stored for several months. Before storing, wipe away the dirt from the potatoes then keep them in a dark place. Check them after 2 weeks. Discard the ones which feel soft. Store the rest of them in a dark place.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Know when Potatoes Are ready to Harvest, we recommend you visit our Gardening & plants category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Very well defined I always wanted to know best time for harvesting potatoes.
Many thanks.
OneHowTo Editor
You are very welcome!
Thank you for this article! Now I know for sure that my potatoes are ready to be harvested. The article and the pictures were really helpful.
OneHowTo Editor
We're so glad we could help!
mary Quail
very useful
1 of 3
How to Know when Potatoes Are ready to Harvest