Sunday, 27 March 2011

Harvesting the potatoes ~

When potato tops begin to wither it's time to harvest them.  

Here are the potato tops all leafy and green in early summer

We've been enjoying freshly dug potatoes since Christmas, but now that the plants are beginning to die back, we knew it was time to dig up what remained. 

Getting them out of the ground is a bit like digging for treasure: you never know quite what you will find.  Careful digging with a fork well back from the base of the plant reduces the chance of chopping into potatoes that lie hidden.

What bounty there was:

An old curtain placed inside the wheelbarrow meant the potatoes could be lifted and moved easily.

Once harvested potatoes need to be well aired so that any remaining earth dries thoroughly.  Any damaged or diseased potatoes should be removed at this point to prevent decay from spreading. When dried the potatoes are best stored in a cool, dry, dark place.  

This crop will last us through the winter.  I hadn't grown potatoes before, and have been amazed at how easy they are to grow, how delicious, and how cost effective.  Very little maintenance is required during their growth.  We will definitely be putting in crops of these in the years to come.

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