Well, hello there. I’m so glad you joined me today. I could use a hand. Grab a garden apron, a 5 gallon bucket and a garden fork. We are gonna dig some taters.
Those lovely little white flowers on the potato plants signal that it is time to dig for “new” potatoes. Little sweet baby potatoes that are such so much better than anything you will find in the grocery store.
“New” potatoes are a luxury. If you are gardening for survival, I recommend leaving them in the ground to grow to their full size. Full size potatoes can be dug anytime after the entire plant dies and looks terribly sad and brown. Letting them grow means higher yield overall.
However, I can never resist at least digging a dinner’s worth of “new” ones.
So whether you are digging them young or waiting for maturity, here’s how you do it.
Using a garden fork, gently poke a large circle around the potato plant. With each poke give a little upward lift to the soil. After the soil is loosened, put the garden fork in a deeply as you can and turn over the entire plant.
If you have a little helper at your side, have him root through the soil for any potatoes left below. If not, you’ll have to poke about yourself. It’s funny. No matter how well I harvest, I always find a renegade potato the following spring as I rotate crops.
There is no rush to harvest them. Take your time. Dig some for dinner. Dig now, dig later. They are not fussy. Just be sure to get them all before the ground freezes so hard that you can’t get them out or else you’ll be enjoying a tougher tater after spring thaw.
If you are container gardening, simply shove over your container and lets them spill out.
Another time we will discuss storage issues like canning and root cellaring.