Harvesting Maincrop Potatoes

Autumn is when you can start to dig up your maincrop potatoes. You’ll know the time is right when the leaves of the plants turn yellow and start to die back. Depending on when you planted them, this will probably fall some time between the end of August and end of October.

It’s ideal to dig up your spuds on a nice dry day, shake off the excess soil and leave them on the surface of the earth to dry for a few hours before popping them into a big hessian sack (or similar) to store. This helps to harden the skin a little making them store longer.

We find that at this time of year it’s best to harvest the whole crop in one go rather than leaving them in the ground. This prevents them from being attacked by slugs in wet weather, and since they store so well it doesn’t harm them to be stored in a hessian sack/paper bag rather than being left in the ground.

Be sure to discard any damaged/rotting spuds – if you add them to the storage bag the likelihood is they will infect your other potatoes. Store them in a cool, dry, dark place (not the fridge – it’s too cold) and they will keep for a few months.