It’s no secret that the potato is cultivated and appreciated all over the world. The cultivation and maintenance of this vegetable are relatively easy but must respect certain care and gestures. This allows for an abundant harvest. Find out in detail some tips on when to harvest your potatoes.
How do you know if the potatoes are ripe?
The growth of the potato is divided into 5 stages. Knowing them allows you to determine when the potatoes are ripe for harvest.
- Phase 1: Emergence of sprouts and start of root growth
- Phase 2: Development of leaves and branches and establishment of photosynthesis
- Phase 3: Flowering and appearance of new tubers in the form of swellings of the stolon
- Phase 4: Swelling of the new tubers under the contribution of all the resources of the plant
- Phase 5: Maturation of the potatoes. The visible sign is that the vegetation cover of the plants is starting to dry out and the skin of the most surface tubers is hardening.
Note that for some varieties, it is possible to harvest from the 4th step.
How long does it take for potatoes to grow?
Grown in more than 100 countries, potatoes take more or less time to grow depending on whether the climate is temperate, tropical or subtropical. Thus, some will put between 60 and 100 days to reach maturity. These are the early season potatoes which are more suitable in southern regions where the climate is very hot.
Mid-season potatoes will mature between 100 and 135 days. For end of season varieties, you have to wait between 135 and 160 days to be able to harvest. The latter are best suited for northern regions.
When to pluck potatoes with the moon?
To harvest your potatoes with the moon, you have to observe the moment when the latter passes in front of the constellation Virgo, Capricorn or Taurus. For a normal harvest on a root day, wait until the foliage begins to wilt. For an early harvest, do it as soon as the potato plants bloom. However, it is contraindicated to harvest during a full moon. Indeed, the lunar rays could cause the potatoes to turn green. Also avoid leaving them to dry on the ground on full moon nights unless the sky is overcast.
Why are my potatoes small?
A crop made up mostly of small potatoes is due to various reasons. The first being that the variety planted is naturally not big. Then, the potatoes may have run out of water, therefore, they did not develop as they should. It should also be noted that if the harvest was done too early, the potatoes will be small in diameter. Finally, it would be wrong to believe that a large potato plant gives larger tubers than a small plan. In reality, a small plan will certainly give fewer tubers, but these will be larger because the nutrients will only have to feed a few shoots. So be sure to choose your plants, your varieties and ensure good watering.
How to properly harvest potatoes?
For beautiful mature potatoes, wait until the foliage is completely yellowed. If the area to be harvested is not too large, use your hands to dig and collect your potatoes. Alternatively, you can use a spade fork or a hook to lift the plant and remove the tubers. Be careful not to damage your tubers, as they will need to be eaten quickly. Preferably wait until the earth is dry before harvesting, so your tubers will be cleaner. Otherwise, you can leave them to dry on the ground or in a crate for a day in the shade.
How to properly store potatoes?
Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry, dark and ventilated place. Under these conditions, they will last several months. No need to wash them before storing them at the risk of seeing them deteriorate. Before storing them, sort them to separate those that are too small, broken or bruised from others. Avoid storing potatoes with fruit, or in the refrigerator. In addition, when cooking them, cut and discard the parts that have turned green. They contain toxic solanine. At room temperature, they will keep their freshness for about a week. take care of regularly degerming stored potatoes.