Homegrown crops such as sweet potatoes are fresh and delicious. We can never get the mouthwatering taste, buttery texture, and sweet flavor of a homegrown sweet potato on a grocery store shelf. By following simple guidelines and methods of growing sweet potatoes in the comfort of your home, in time, you will harvest bountiful fruits of your labor. In this case, it’s your sweet potatoes.
So, you’ve followed the tips and ways on how to grow your sweet potatoes. You have planted your crops earlier on hilled rows or raised garden beds meticulously and cultivated them properly and fertilized them as much as they needed. Now, your sweet potatoes are full, healthy, and ready for harvest.
Perhaps, you are wondering now how do you know when to harvest potatoes? Why is it important to know the proper way of harvesting your crops or when to harvest them? You might be asking this question. Hence, we will let you understand the reason behind it.
It is important to know when and how to harvest crops not just potatoes because of the benefits that we will get. In doing so, we will be getting the greatest benefit that the crops can offer such as sweet, full, and healthy potatoes.
What Do You Need To Know or Follow
In actuality, there’s so little time required from planting your seeds to watering your potatoes as your potato crop starts and continues to grow until the harvest time. When the time comes to harvest your potatoes, here are a few tips you need to understand, follow, and obtain for a proper harvest.
1. You must use the right tools.
It is extremely important to know the right tools to pull out your potatoes. This step makes sure that you are getting and using the right tools to assist you in harvesting. Typically, a digging fork or a 3 or 4 – pronged potato gardening tool will help in pulling out every potato crop.
2. You must work in an orderly manner
Step by step methods is essential to achieving absolute efficiency and work results. Thus, harvesting your sweet potatoes also requires stringent techniques and procedures to make sure that you are harvesting the crops, the right way.
You can begin working on the outside part of the hill for hilled rows planting method and work your way closer to the base of your sweet potato crops. You must make sure that you are getting way down under the crop, so you will not leave any potato.
3. You must pick and dig
When you poke and pull out each potato crop from the soil, the tubers will be rooted out. Just simply pick the crops up as they’re unburied. You should use your hands to dig around in the loosened soil to check for remaining sweet potatoes
4. You must harvest your potatoes when it’s dry
The best time to harvest crops is during dry seasons because it will make your work easier and smoother than working on wet days. It will not be hard to dig up the soil, and you will have an easy time to pull out potatoes because it is dry and the visibility is clear.
5. You must consume damaged potatoes immediately
It is not all the time that the crops are in good shape. Therefore, it is highly advisable that you consume all your damaged potatoes as quickly as possible.
How Do You Know When and How to Harvest Potatoes
So, how would you know when to harvest your sweet potatoes? The first thing that you have to consider is identifying new potatoes from mature potatoes.
Distinguish New Potatoes from Mature Potatoes
Identifying New Potatoes
The new potatoes are the young tubers from a potato plant. These small sweet potatoes have a softer skin compared to mature potatoes. These potatoes require being consumed immediately right after you harvests them because they don’t store well.
Typically, most varieties of potatoes will take around 10 weeks or 70 days to produce tubers that are big enough to eat after you plant them. In times that you lose count on how many weeks or days it has been since you have planted the potato seed, just observe your potato crop. When it blooms, it is ready for harvesting.
Do not dig out the whole plant. Simply move the soil aside meticulously and pull out only some potatoes from every plant. In this way, the potato plant can continue to grow and produce a fall crop of mature potatoes.
Recognizing Mature Potatoes
The mature potatoes are usually ready for harvest during fall or early winter. The harvesting time will depend on the plants and the weather. You must wait until all the leaves of the potato plant have all dried up before you harvest them.
Moreover, when the leaves died from every plant, you can start digging up the potatoes. To test if your potato is ready for the harvest, you can rub the skin of the potato crop with your fingers.
The skin of the potato that is ready for harvest doesn’t scrub off easily. So, when the skin of the potato comes off easily, you must wait for a few more days and do the same tests for the other potatoes.
Harvest during the Dry Season
It is difficult to harvest when it’s wet due to the water residues forming in the soil. So, harvest the potatoes during the dry season. In this way too, it will help in spreading the foliar disease to the other crops.
Thus, it is important that you must remove the potato when its foliage has died back. The leaves can get diseases that can be transferred to the tubers if they come in contact with them.
Carefully Dig and Handle the Potatoes
You must be meticulous in digging up and handling your potatoes. In this way, you will avoid damaging the skin of the tuber or bruising it. However, when the skin gets damaged, you must set those damaged potatoes aside and consume them within a few days after harvesting them.
Was the tutorial beneficial to you? Were you able to get valuable information from the article? Does everything make sense?
We understood how important it is for you to find out all the essential things that you must know about growing sweet potato crops. Hence, we made sure that we covered all the relevant details of what you need to know from all other things that you may know about growing and harvesting potatoes.
Withal, take note of the day that you planted the potato seeds. So, you can get accurate counting of when is the perfect time to harvest them. Keep everything in an organized manner from planting and taking care of the crops to ensure that you will have a bountiful harvest.
We hope that we were able to help you with your questions about harvesting potatoes. If you have anything in mind like suggestions or recommendations, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. You can also share this article to your page or friends, especially those who needed to know about the proper time and right way of harvesting potatoes.