What Are the Best Tips for Harvesting Potatoes?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 February 2020
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Potato plants are very hearty plants that can survive some rude uprooting, which means harvesting potatoes from one plant is possible several times at various times throughout the year. It is best to determine which plants will be ready for harvesting potatoes in the early season, which will be ready for harvesting mid-season, and which are best for harvesting in the late season. This will generally depend on the maturity of the plant as well as the region of the world in which the potatoes are planted.

Assemble the proper tools before beginning the process of harvesting potatoes. The best tool for this process is a four or six pronged fork. Buy a pitchfork of a manageable size for the plot of land in which the potatoes are planted. Drive the fork down into the soil when harvesting potatoes, taking special care to avoid damaging the potatoes themselves. Once the fork is in the soil, pivot it and pull up on the soil. This should lift the potatoes out of the ground while allowing the soil to fall through the tines of the fork. Pick only the potatoes that are ready to be harvested, then re-plant the others. Try to do this quickly, as the potatoes should not be exposed to too much sunlight if they are to be re-planted.


It is a good idea to do a fair amount of research into the different types of potatoes. This will help the planter know which potatoes will be most suited to the type of soil and climate in a particular region, and it will also help him or her decide which potatoes to pick when harvesting potatoes. Once the potatoes are harvested, knowing the particular types of potatoes will also help the planter know how to store the potatoes properly so they can be preserved as long as possible.

Some potatoes can be stored for up to six months if they are placed in a burlap bag or plastic bag with holes, then placed in a cool, damp storing cellar. Others should be used immediately after being harvested for the best flavor and to prevent rotting. It is important to avoid refrigerating potatoes that have been harvested recently, and it is also important to store potatoes away from onions. When onions and potatoes are stored too closely together, they can create toxic chemicals that can damage both plants.



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