I like to dig up my first and second early potatoes as and when I need them.
One of the advantages of growing these varieties rather than main crop potatoes is that you do not have to store them.
Early potatoes taste really great eaten shortly after digging them up. You can (if need be) harvest them all at once but I like the way the first ones you get out of the soil are small and a treat, especially if at that time similar potatoes are at a premium price in the shops.
Obviously the longer you leave your potatoes in the ground the larger they become. The larger size potatoes are still good and tasty. The slightly larger potatoes are nice for roasting and (now and then) they are great sliced and gently fried in a just enough oil to stop them sticking to the pan.
A bonus with growing potatoes that are out of the ground early summer is that as the area on the plot is cleared it gives me space to plant up other things, the main crop potatoes are still using up space on other peoples' plots.
Most years the first and second early potatoes are out of the ground before the signs of blight and other potato problems have started to appear.
- Of course not ever potato you dig up will look perfect. Ugly Potatoes.
Things like a bit of scab marking the skin or a scar from catching them with the tool that you dig them up with does not make them inedible. I use up the scarred potatoes as soon as possible and cut out that bit. Scab is harmless and is simply removed in the pre-cooking prep stage,