The first time you grow your own potatoes you feel in the dark about certain things. Almost as much in the dark as the potatoes that are tucked away under the soil you heaped on them when you earthed them up.
Most of the potato growing information can be read on blogs,Internet articles or in books.
How to tell when you potatoes are ready to dig up does not appear to be covered in as much depth though.
I can explain to you an easy way to tell if your potatoes are ready without digging up the potatoes and wasting any of your potato crop if it is too early to harvest them.
I cover this subject in greater depth in my HubPages article on how to tell when you should begin harvesting potatoes here is the link:
How to tell when to dig up your potatoes. Furtling New Potatoes
The short answer to if you should begin harvesting your new potatoes is simple... have a look at the potatoes ...
remove some of the soil from the side of the mounded up earth and take a look at the potatoes that are there. If they are too small return the soil to cover them over and wait until you have let them grow bigger.
As a reminder -
- If you planted first earlies they will be ready first.
first early, second early, or main crop seed potato
- In the UK the further North you live the later you will have planted your seed potatoes. Therefore your friends in the South will be harvesting potatoes earlier than you can.
- Most potatoes flower at some stage, this gives a clue to the stage they are at.
- Main Crop potatoes are not usually ready to harvest until later in the season.
- First earlies can be ready from June.
- Second earlies are also harvested earlier than main crops.
I have several pages on potato growing on my HubPages articles - they span the growing season from selecting which to buy to telling if they are ready to harvest yet. The next one I write will be about main crop harvesting as they are the ones you will be able to store. Not the time for that yet, though.
Enjoy your new potatoes, they are a hundred times more tasty than shop ones. The first of the potatoes you harvest - boiled with a sprig of mint and served with a little butter melting over them; is the best way to taste them at their best. That is the reward for your earlier efforts.