When should I harvest potatoes?
Potatoes can be harvested when the tubers are small and immature (“new” potatoes) or when the crop is fully mature.
“New” potatoes are dug when the plants are still green and the tubers are greater than 1 inch in diameter. New potatoes should be used immediately as they do not store well.
Potatoes grown for storage should be harvested after the vines have died and the crop is mature. To check crop maturity, dig up 1 or 2 hills after the plants have died. If the skins on the tubers are thin and rub off easily, the crop is not fully mature. Allow the crop to mature for several more days before harvesting the potatoes. When harvesting potatoes, avoid bruising, skinning, or cutting the tubers. Damaged potatoes should be used as soon as possible.
Before placing the potatoes in storage, cure the tubers at a temperature of 50 to 60°F and high relative humidity (85 to 90 percent) for 2 weeks. The curing period allows minor cuts and bruises to heal. Thickening of the skin also occurs during the curing process.