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When Is The Best Time To Harvest Potatoes So You Don’t End Up With Tiny Spuds? 

When Is The Best Time To Harvest Potatoes So You Don’t End Up With Tiny Spuds? 

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The first time I planted new potatoes, I was super excited and impatient. The anticipation built up as I watched those green shoots poke up out of the soil, knowing that my delicious potatoes were just beneath the surface. 

However, potatoes weren’t like the rest of my plants – I couldn’t exactly track their growth, which is why I didn’t know when to harvest them. 

And my first potatoes, you guessed it, were a bit premature. I ended up with tiny, marble-sized potatoes that were more cute than edible! 

Well, it turns out that I had to wait longer to dig up those tasty tubers (impatience got to me, what can I say?). The next time I tried growing them, I had to make sure I didn’t end up with a bunch of spuds that were the size of ping pong balls (again). 

So, if you’re like me and can’t wait to get your hands on those new potatoes, stick around as I am about to share some telltale signs that your potatoes are ready to harvest. 

Here’s How To Know Your New Potatoes Are Good To Go

From the beginning of my gardening journey, I knew tomatoes and potatoes are close cousins. I mean, I noticed the resemblance when they started to flower and fruit. 

While these fruits might look like tiny tomatoes, they’re not safe to eat, but they do serve a purpose! 

When you see them falling from the plants, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to dig up those delicious new potatoes.

Another telltale sign? The soil around your potato plant starts splitting and cracking. 

This happens because the spuds beneath are growing and pushing the soil aside. I had clay soil, so it was especially noticeable, but you can spot it in other types of soil too! 

On my second attempt, I acted as a potato detective, inspecting every crack in the soil and eagerly waiting for those fruits to drop. Just look for these clues because the prize (homegrown potatoes) is totally worth it!

Related: This Cardboard Box Trick Will Make Your Homemade Potatoes Grow Like Crazy 

You Could Also Dig Up A Potato And See For Yourself

If all signs point to the fact that your potatoes are ready for harvesting, and you are still not sure whether you should do it or not, why not grab a shovel and unearth a few to check?

I wish I knew I had this option the first time I grew my potatoes… lesson learned, I guess! 

I would recommend you use a garden fork instead of a shovel to avoid damaging the spuds. Carefully dig beside the potato plant rather than uprooting it entirely. 

Just wait until the soil is dry and the weather is warm to do this. 

Digging up a few potatoes from the outer edges allows you to enjoy an early taste while letting the rest mature for a larger harvest later.

Just a word of caution: cover any exposed tubers to prevent them from turning green and becoming inedible in the sunlight. 

And once harvested, move your potatoes into the shade so you can preserve their delicious flavors (they need the darkness). 

Follow these clues so you don’t end up with tiny potatoes like I did on my first attempt. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was… but hey, you fail, you try again! Now my potatoes are one of my proudest harvests and I get to enjoy them all winter long! 

This might be helpful: No Dig Potatoes – 3 Methods That Will Get You A Huge Harvest Without All Of The Work