How to harvest & store potatoes…
Besides processing your own meat, there is nothing more satisfying than harvesting potatoes. The act of pulling actual potatoes from the earth to put in my pantry just puts a huge smile in my heart. We are potato eaters in this family so, being able to have shelves full of them is a feeling I cannot fully describe.
This year, we took a stab at potatoes, garlic and onion. Three things that we eat at least once a day if not more. Our garlic harvest was mind blowing. We have at least 5 bags worth in our pantry and each time I grab one I just let out this sigh of absolute appreciation. Our onion is still going strong in the planter.
But our potatoes….
…Oh mama, they thrived and gave us plenty of delicious perfect potatoes that we have already had the pleasure of eating. And they could not have been easier to grow and manage. We tried two methods. In ground and in a container. I don’t think we prefer one over the other. Obviously, the in ground method we were able to yield more. But we still got a decent harvest worth out of two containers.
Understanding when to harvest your potatoes we less intimidating than we thought.
How to know when to harvest your potatoes
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The life of your potato plant will be:
The last one sounds so intense but when your potato plant dies back and starts to turn yellow, that is go time my friends. Start pulling back that straw or mulch you have on top and start feeling around. I bet a beautiful little potato is just sitting right there at the top of the soil.
How to store your potatoes
Storing these little round beauties is simple. Keep them cool, dry and in a dark place. Just like store bought potatoes, you don’t want light to reach them. Light encourages sprouting which, we do not want. When you bring your potatoes in from the garden the first time, you are going to lightly brush off the dirt and place them in an area where they can get some air circulation. This is going to be the curing process.
We used wire racks. You can use screen, chicken wire…whatever will allow air to flow all the way around your potatoes. Again, keep them cool, dry and in a dark place. The curing process will take about two weeks. In this time the skin of the potato will slightly harden which, will protect the potato from bacteria and rotting.
Little potato tip:
***Keep your bigger potatoes as seeds for next years growing season.
And if you feel like enjoying some of that hard work before the two week curing time is done, go right ahead. They are safe to eat the day you harvest them.
That is it my friends!
Until next time…
Happy potato harvesting!