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Harvesting potatoes

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by MrDuck on May 21, 2006 02:58 AM
We have just started harvesting some of our red skinned potatoes, and they are already a bit bigger than I would have liked. They taste delicious, though, newly dug up.

My question is - can we leave them in the ground all summer, just getting them when we need them? Or do we need to dig them up now and store them? Will the taste deteriorate during storage?

I should probably post this on a different thread, but how do we know when the onions and garlic we have planted are ready to harvest?

Thanks for any help.
by Longy on May 21, 2006 08:59 AM
I've read that potatoes can be left in the ground, but i believe they are very susceptible to pests and diseases. Esp if it rains when fungal problems may also rear their heads.

They will store well in a cool, dark, dry area, like a cellar, for up to 6 months.

Or you could peel and chip some and freeze them too. Also, look at making some potato and leek soup or similar and freezing that. This can still be done if they are stored and start to go soft after a few months.

Your onions and garlic tops will dry off and lay over when they're ready to harvest.

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The secret is the soil.
by MrDuck on May 21, 2006 09:23 AM
Thanks, Longy. When you say "peel and chip some", what do you mean? Do I cook them before freezing, or can I do something and freeze them "raw"?

Using them in dishes and then freezing is a great idea. We have so many that I guess I'll get creative and just see what works!
by Jiffymouse on May 21, 2006 10:25 AM
if you want to use them whole (ie "boiled new potatoes") you can freeze them with or without washing them, in a brown paper bag, then drop them in the pot as needed. (of course washing them if they go in the freezer unwashed.)
by johnCT on May 21, 2006 01:43 PM
They can be left in the ground and harvested as you need them. Especially if the plants have not died back yet. They will continue to grow.

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John - Zone 6
by Greenthumb newbee on May 21, 2006 05:32 PM
Shoot I had potatos in my basement for over 6 months with no problem except the small ones started to grow after 4 months. Good thing is I had 6 inch roots on them when I planted them. Comming up VERY nicely.
by Longy on May 22, 2006 06:15 PM
"When you say "peel and chip some", what do you mean?"
Make some chips, fries. Like as in fish 'n' chips. Freeze raw or you can blanch them too i think. Not sure 'bout that.
"I had potatos in my basement for over 6 months with no problem."
That's great going. Mine get soft after 3 or 4 months as i'm in a semi tropical area with no cellar. They just get too warm. If they start to shoot or go soft then that's the time to make soup and stuff i reckon. Use them up while they're still in good condition. For freezing, i'd be inclined to get them while still very firm.

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The secret is the soil.
by ranger on May 24, 2006 03:39 AM
I always buy a bag of all purpose potatoes (paper bag) and keep in a cool dark area. When they start making eyes and begin to soften, the starch has changed into sugar and the are delicious boiled, french fries are great as well as home fries. I love to cook. These are store bought potatoes. Fresh from the garden reds (waxy) make great potato salad and a potato like "kenebec" fresh picked makes the best mashed I've ever had.

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