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When to dig potatoes and how to store them properly to keep them through the winter

Alina MilsentNews
Potatoes in the garden. Source: Created with the help of AI

The young potatoes are already ripening, and gardeners are preparing for the most active period of the year - harvesting. The time for harvesting potatoes depends on the variety and weather conditions. Traditionally, harvesting begins in late summer and early fall, and early varieties can be dug up as early as mid-August.

To ensure that potatoes last all winter, it is important to remember important storage rules. Read the OBOZ.UA article to find out when to dig up tubers and how to store the crop properly.

When to dig up potatoes

The ripening period of tubers varies depending on the variety. Usually, you can start harvesting 2.5-4 months after planting.

There are several signs that you can tell when it's time to dig up potatoes:

  • The leaves turn yellow and wilt - this is how plants show that they are beginning to spend energy on tuber formation;
  • potatoes "lie down" on the bed;
  • the leaves begin to dry out.

You can dig up a few bushes beforehand to find out if the tubers are large enough.

When to dig potatoes and how to store them properly to keep them through the winter

How to harvest potatoes

Potatoes should only be harvested in dry weather. If the ground is wet, the potatoes can start to mold and rot during storage.

Use a shovel to dig up the potatoes, burying them to a depth of about 15 cm. Even the smallest potatoes should be removed from the bed to prevent them from rotting in the soil.

Be sure to clean the potatoes from the ground, either with a brush or just your hands. Then you should dry the crop in the fresh air to prevent mold.

How to store potatoes

  • To ensure that potatoes last through the winter and do not lose their beneficial properties, you should take care to store them in optimal conditions.
  • Put the crop in a cool, dark place where the average temperature is between +2°C and +4°C.
  • Access to light will help the potatoes germinate.
  • The storage space should be dry. Moisture causes decay and mold.
  • Potatoes should not be placed next to crops that emit ethylene (e.g., apples and bananas). This substance leads to rapid germination.
  • If the tubers do sprout, remove the sprouts. The solanine contained in the sprouts is toxic.

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