Whether or not the purpose is to reap tender, immature “new potatoes,” or to reap absolutely mature potatoes for storage and use over the autumn and winter, it’s useful to comply with some fundamental tips on how and when to reap potatoes.
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All potato varieties might be harvested as new potatoes — dug up earlier than the plant reaches maturity, whereas its tubers are nonetheless small. By the point that the crops have begun to flower, most of them can have developed a minimum of some immature tubers prepared for harvest. At this stage the tubers have skinny skins and fewer dry matter inside. They’re small, to allow them to be cooked and served complete. However the skinny skins that make them so succulent and scrumptious additionally cut back their capability to retailer effectively. The skinny skins enable simpler evaporation of the inside moisture, so they need to be consumed shortly after harvest. New potatoes must be harvested and dealt with rigorously with a purpose to cut back bruising and injury to the skins, each of which may trigger decay.
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New potatoes might be harvested in spring and early summer season, however this tends to sacrifice the mother or father plant so that it’s going to not produce mature storage potatoes later within the season. If the plant is lifted with nice care, among the immature tubers might be eliminated as new potatoes, and the plant might be re-potted in new soil. This causes some stress to the plant, and isn’t usually really useful. Often a row (or container) is sacrificed for brand spanking new potatoes, and the left relaxation to mature to full measurement.
All the time harvest potatoes with light care. Use a fork to step by step loosen the soil round every plant. Potato Develop Luggage and different containers are helpful, as they are often dumped, soil and all, right into a wheelbarrow or over a tarp to sift by way of the soil and harvest every tuber by hand.
Storage potatoes are harvested as soon as the plant is totally mature on the finish of its rising season. Presently, the foliage begins to yellow and dry, usually from the decrease leaves progressing upward. Some late potato varieties should still be inexperienced and bushy by the point early and mid-season crops have utterly withered. For the perfect storage potential, mature tubers shouldn’t be harvested for a minimum of two weeks after the foliage above floor has died. This ready interval permits the skins of the tubers to thicken, which is essential to long run storage. Thick, unbroken skins (simply as in winter squash and onions) cut back the lack of moisture from inside.
If frost is anticipated inside two weeks whereas crops are nonetheless inexperienced and vigorous, many growers defoliate the tops with a purpose to set off the pores and skin setting course of. A weed trimmer can be utilized to shred the leaves and stems of the crops in order that demise is gradual somewhat than sudden. If the crops die immediately (together with demise to arduous frost), the tubers could also be discoloured. It’s easier to only choose the suitable selection for a given rising area with a purpose to keep away from synthetic defoliation.
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Once more, all potatoes must be dug with care to keep away from piercing the skins or bruising the tubers. In backyard beds, it’s a good suggestion to take away soil methodically, and really feel round for every of the tubers as they’re uncovered. Hold dug potatoes out of direct daylight, and ideally out of maximum warmth or chilly. The best vary for harvesting storage potatoes is 13-18°C (55-65°F). If dug spuds are uncovered to daylight, the chance of soppy rot and solar scald are elevated. Simply hold them below the duvet of burlap sacks or tarps till they are often moved into long run storage.
Optimum storage situations are in a darkish location at 4-7°C (40-45°F), with 90% humidity. That is straightforward to attain in a chilly cellar, however might be managed by merely storing the tubers in paper sacks or burlap sacks in a storage or shed. Test saved potatoes recurrently and completely with a purpose to take away any which might be beginning to flip.
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