Last updated on October 13th, 2019
Remember the seed potatoes I planted back in May? I stuck my hands in the soil yesterday, and discovered not just potatoes, but My Best Potato Harvest Ever! Watch me dig the buried treasure, and get my tips for planting, hilling, and storing this popular crop:
Thanks for watching! And my apologies for shrieking like a kid when I pulled up the rose-colored fingerlings. Digging potatoes is fun, fun, fun!
To transplant our harvest from garden to house, Mr. Fox and I divided the tubers between two heavy-duty shopping bags. Heavy duty, because once filled, each bag weighed at least 35 pounds! As mentioned in the video, these are only the potatoes that were seated close to the soil surface. Many more spuds await my attention. I’ll dig these extras in early October, when my creepy cellar is cool enough to accommodate them.
And speaking of accommodations…
How to Store Potatoes for Winter Use
As mentioned in a previous post, potatoes have several requirements for winter storage. After digging, let the spuds dry outside for a few hours. This brief drying period permits skins to toughen or “cure.” Then gently brush off any loose soil from the tubers, but do not wash them. Loosely pack the potatoes in a container that provides ventilation — I use paper bags most years, but cardboard boxes and plastic milk crates are fine storage containers too. Place the goods somewhere dark, humid, and cool (ideal storage temperature is 45-55°F), and the crop will stay fresh and wonderful for at least 3 months.
Planting and Hilling Potatoes
Not sure how to plant potatoes in a raised bed? I filmed the video how-to for you.
And don’t forget to hill your potatoes, as described in the above video!
Did you plant potatoes this year? How’d the crop work out for you? Talk to me in the comments field below.
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susan gortva says
maybe i’ll water my potatoes next year and i’ll get big and plentiful ones like you. water twice a week. i need to try that. thanks
Debra B says
My spuds were pitiful this year. Too much early rain flooded my raised beds, and made my beautiful layered soil hard as rocks. Paltry harvest and lots of rot. Next year, I hope, will be better.
We planted Kennebec this year. Our harvest is amazingly abundant.
I planted La Ratte Fingerlings. Our garden was infested with potatoe beetles. I tried diatomaceous earth earth, spraying with dish soap water and picking them off. They munched on. I will have a paltry harvest this year. So disappointed.
Linda B says
I planted Kennebec (I think) potatoes in grow bags on my deck. Had some wonderful harvests of small potatoes, with no bug damage on the spuds at all. Finally emptied all of them and had a few larger ones as well. Not enough left over to store…we just kept eating them!
Can’t wait to plant potatoes next year, haven’t dug mine up yet but am puzzled all the leaves different. Might be a pot of mice weeds. But next year…luv all your emails
Can’t wait to plant potatoes next year, haven’t dug mine up yet but am puzzled all the leaves different. Might be a pot of nice weeds. But next year…luv all your emails
Elaine R says
I grow several varieties of potatoes. Here they are almost ripened down and I dig enough to eat for the next few weeks.
Contrairy to usual advice, we put them on the lawn and in the sun and wash them with the hose. I should mention we are in a rather dry area and at 3500′ elevation. In an hour or two they are dry enough but we leave them a bit longer then pack them in 4 gallon plastic buckets for the cold room. In January or February I go down and desprout what’s left. We generally have home grown potatoes until May and the small seed potatoes are left at the bottom of the buckets….except for kennebec…they are always too big for seed potatoes and I have to make sure we don’t eat them all
We grew some in a raised bed this year. Once we hilled them, they started to die. So, Kevin, I wonder if — instead of soil — could we use dried pine needles since we have plenty available, free. We usually mulch our garlic with the pine needles, 4-6 ” deep, and they do well.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Cheryl – You can absolutely use dried pine needles to hill potatoes. Pine needles are as good as the straw that I use.
The first crop from May 31 is already dug up bc the deer are starting to visit the gardens. It was a so so crop I assume bc we got an infestation of potato beetles. I picked them off and fed the beetles and larvae to the chickens.
The second crop started around July 20th is growing beautiful and no potato beetles thus far. I won’t pluck until the plants show signs of dying. We really didnt need to plant a second crop, but I wanted to prove to hubby that it can be done. I plan to dehydrate some and donate extras to the local food shelf.
I wish I would have thought about pine needles as a potato mulch….next year.
We store the potatoes in shallow cardboard boxes. The produce guys at the local grocery store will save boxes if you call them. I find they do better in card board boxes than milk crates. And like Elaine does, we plant some of the smaller ones in the spring.
I grew Kennebec and Red Pontiac in two wire towers, 4ft high, straw lining. Both did well, I used more good compost to fill towers. The towers help protect against vole damage and may drain better (this was another wet summer in NJ/NY).
Jeanne Wright-Brusky says
I plant my potatoes in straw bales; two plants to a bale. Condition the bale according to straw bale gardening instructions found on the internet. Then I use a drill that I have for planting bulbs, and drill down into the straw bale almost to the bottom. Put the seed potatoes in that hole and cover it back up with straw. In about 3 weeks the potato plants start popping up through the straw, and go on growing from there. When they are ready to harvest I just kick the straw bale apart and, Ta Da! There are my potatoes nice and clean from growing in the straw, and not all covered with dirt, and I didn’t have to keep mounding the plants all summer. I run a soaker hose over the bales and if no rain water the bales when they feel dry inside. Over watering washes the nutrients out of the straw. I love this easy way of growing potatoes.
Oh Kevin, I think this is one of your best videos. Your enthusiasm is endearing and contagious. You made me smile and I remembered how one of the last things I ever did with my father was harvest his potato crop and how he showed me how to dig them up without cutting into the crop. You do enjoy the potatoes much more if you grow your own don’t you?
so happy i came to the home page after finding the recipe for potato bread. i mentioned having to go to the store for potatoes. it never occurred to me to try growing my own, but i am inspired by what i have learned already from watching you. by next spring, when it’s time to plant, i will be better educated and ready to try to start a kitchen garden, using yours as an example. so glad i stumbled onto your site! thank you.
My potatoes were outstanding this year and a partial thanks goes to your suggestion in the spring to lay newspapers around the plants. They must have appreciated The Wall Street Journal because they grew very well and as an added bonus I found only one potato with a green section on it…a best for our garden.
Pam R says
Love your video!
Ava D Bishop says
Hi Kevin. I’m from your neck of the woods now living in Northern California and found your channel when looking up something about tomato gardening. I love love your vlog and your Utube channel I’m a subscriber. Keep up the good work.❤️
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Ava – Thank you SO much for subscribing to my channel! (Oh, the things you can grow in Northern California!)