First Potato Harvest

GardenWeasel

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Dug our first potatos over the weekend and they are now in a cardboard box in my kitchen. Of course most of the great ones were impaled on the pitchfork. I know I need to sort them. Do I wash them? Do I have to use the forked ones immediately? Do they have to age like squash? We didn't get as many as I hoped because to my husbands dismay they were buried in weeds marked only by a few plastic forks also buried in the weeds. How do you guys keep the area clear and easy to find after the plants die down?
 

gardentoad

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GardenWeasel said:
Dug our first potatos over the weekend and they are now in a cardboard box in my kitchen. Of course most of the great ones were impaled on the pitchfork. I know I need to sort them. Do I wash them? Do I have to use the forked ones immediately? Do they have to age like squash? We didn't get as many as I hoped because to my husbands dismay they were buried in weeds marked only by a few plastic forks also buried in the weeds. How do you guys keep the area clear and easy to find after the plants die down?
with me it is simple I only do containers, right now I am waiting on sweet tater time. Lots and lots of vines, nothing at all like my other
Containers from the spring
BTW: this is my first sweet tater harvest, I am hoping for a lot, cause I really like em



Don
 

digitS'

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I think you'd better just use those damaged potatoes right away. If rot starts in that box of spuds . . . well, you know the old saying, "One bad pomme de terre spoils the whole barrel ;)!"

I don't have too much trouble with weeds in the potato patch. One thing, I seem to be keeping a compost pile just for the potatoes in recent years. Right about the time that the weeds in the spuds could really get out of hand -- it is time to hill the potato plants!

Instead of gathering dirt around them, I use the compost. I start off with some organic fertilizer then, after layering on the compost, the weeds are smothered, any potatoes near the surface are covered, and the plants are fertilized. The insulating compost probably also keeps the soil cool and helps conserve moisture.

To keep damage to an absolute minimum, and since my potatoes are planted in a bed, I start digging at one end of the bed and dig the entire thing out to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. The tubers are all in about the top 6 inches of soil so all the shovel-work is below their grade. They just fall into the trench as I go along. It takes me weeks to dig out a few hundred square feet but there are different varieties that mature at different times so, I don't need to be in any hurry.

I wash the harvested potatoes and allow them to dry in the shade before carrying them downstairs to storage in the basement.

Steve
 

lesa

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I am surprised you had such a weed problem... Once my potatoes start growing, I really don't have any weeds. I let the plants die way back, before harvest and still found very few weeds...Have the stabbed potatoes in the next few days. The other non-damaged should store well in the basement. I do wash the majority of the dirt off and don't store until they are very dry. Since it has been pouring here the last few days, mine dried on towels in the dining room! Not very appropriate for the fine dining experience! Enjoy your potatoes!
 

casper1

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Our best luck is with winter potatoes. We plant in november, zone 7b, in lots of mulch. When May getS here we have tons of great yukon golds. We are in the south with lots of sandy soil so we don't need to wash just let the soil dry and shake a little. I have had some stored since may and they are just as firm as when we put them up. sssooo GOOD.
 

chills

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Congrats on the potato harvest! I didnt get any from my attempt. Maybe I'll do more research and try again next year. I also didnt have a weed problem, I had what looked like a successful plant, but no potatoes in the dirt. I had straw over top mine, so maybe that helped with weeds? Oh and mine were in pots, not the ground.
 
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