Are you wondering when to pick potatoes so you can start consuming them?
Did you know that you need to ensure that you are harvesting them at the right time, for you to make sure that they are flavorful enough?
If this is our first time planting and picking them, then the information below will be beneficial for you.
If you have a garden with rich and loose soil and one that is exposed to the sun, then you can plant potatoes. You can easily obtain potato seeds from garden centers or your neighbor’s patch of potatoes.
Of course, before picking up the potatoes, it would be best to have the seeds planted first for you to be able to pick them up whenever they are ready.
Here are a few tips on how you can successfully plant potatoes:
Getting the Seeds Ready
Before planting the seeds into the ground, you need to set them in a warm and sunny area in your home. The reason behind this is because it will help the seeds to start sprouting so they can be ready to grow into a full grown potato plant.
Once you see the sprouts, the next thing that you need to do before actually planting them is to choose the larger ones so you can slice them in half. You don’t have to do this with the smaller seeds since you can just plant them that way.
Start Planting the Seeds
When planting the seeds, it would be best to press them gently into the soil. You need to make sure that every seed is 12 inches apart, for them to be able to have enough room to grow.
Once you are done pressing them into the soil, the next thing that you need to do is to cover them with at least 4 inches of soil.
Watering the Potatoes Regularly
Of course, for your potato plants to start growing, you need to make sure that you are watering them well. It is best to maintain the soil a bit moist since too much moisture can lead to certain diseases on your plant’s leaves.
When your potatoes are flowering, make sure to water them well because this is the time that they need to be hydrated well.
Create Hills for the Potatoes
After a few weeks, the stalks of the potato should have already grown above your soil. You can start creating hills using the soil and mound them over to the stalks. You have the option to cover them completely, or you can also allow some of them to peek. You can continue creating the hill every couple of weeks until they are ready to be picked.
Now that you have planted your potatoes, then next thing that you need to do is wait for them to be ready. Typically, you can pick the potatoes after 2 to 3 weeks of planting them and after the flowering phase started.
You also have the option to harvest new potatoes or the more matured ones. Get to know how you can harvest both the new and the matured ones by reading the information below.
Picking New Potato Plants
The young tubers are known as the new potatoes that are from the potato plant. These tiny potatoes have skin that softens and can easily be eater right after picking them since it is not required to store them first. You can start picking new potatoes after 10 weeks of planting the potato no matter what variety you planted.
Now if you had lost track as to when you planted the seeds, you can just observe the plant. Once it starts to bloom, this is a clear sign that you can start picking them. When picking them, avoid digging them out of the soil entirely.
The best way that you can do is to move the soil carefully and pick a few new potatoes for each of the plants. In this way, the plant can start growing and producing potatoes that are mature.
Picking Mature Potato Plants
For mature potatoes, you can pick them early in the winter or fall, since this type of potato will depend on the weather that your plant is curly in.
Before you start picking the mature potatoes, it is best to wait for the foliage of the potato plant to start withering and die. Once the foliage is dead, you can start digging the potato from two plants.
For you to ensure that you are picking the mature potato, you can rub your finger on the skin of the potato. You will know that they are ready to be picked if the skin won’t easily be scrubbed.
Now if the skin easily comes off, you can water for a couple of days more before picking them. Just make sure to do the scrubbing again, to ensure that they are all ready.
Additional Note When Picking the Potatoes
When the potatoes' foliage turns black and died, you need to remove the foliage immediately. The reason behind this is because it can start harboring disease, which will then be transferred to the potatoes.
Another thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are going to pick the potatoes when the weather is dry to lessen the spreading of any diseases from the foliage.
Lastly, make sure to handle the potatoes gently, so you won’t damage the skin of the potato. But if the skin gets damaged, you can set them aside so you can eat them at a later time after harvesting them.
These are all the information that you need when it comes to planting and when to pick potatoes so you can start consuming them. Just follow the tips on how you can pick them successfully, for you to avoid picking a potato that is not yet ready.
Don’t forget to take extra care when picking to avoid damaging them and such.
Start planting your potatoes now so you can pick them once they are ready for you.