Harvesting Potatoes

The garden is being emptied – every day more and more potatoes are being dug up, sorted and put away. If I get a row done every day, it won’t take long for the potato bed to be emptied.

We like to let the potatoes sit on the garden for most of a sunny day if the weather allows. I go down and turn them after several hours – it helps them dry a bit more and I can lightly brush off the worst of the dirt that is clinging to them.

 

IMG 1559 300x225 Harvesting Potatoes

 

We never leave potatoes out over night. We can’t take the risk of a frost happening, which will ruin the potatoes. So we dig up as much as we feel we can deal with during the day and leave the rest in the ground for another day.

We like to sort the potatoes right there in the garden. We bring down lots of paper bags and some of the large empty paper feed bags. (They are nice and thick so we don’t have to worry about the bags breaking).

The really little potatoes we toss into empty canners and we’ll cook them up for the chickens or pigs, if we are raising them. Since Valley friends do have pigs this year, they will get all the little ones to be fed off.

The really nice sized and shaped potatoes go into paper bags, one kind to a bag. We write the name and note right on the bag that they are for seed for next year. This way, we don’t have to sort again once we get them all in the house.

Seed potatoes get put on the shelf down in the Cold Room. We’re always happy when the seed sorting is done, as we are assured of having enough seed for a good potato crop next year.

Once the little ones and the big ones are dealt with, all the rest go into the large empty feed bags. We can easily store 50 pounds in each one, often more than that. Hauling those bags up to the house and down into the Cold Room is definitely a “blue job” as they are too heavy for me to handle.

 

 Harvesting Potatoes

Seiglund potatoes – what a fantastic yield and we are super impressed with this kind of potato. Look how big those things are.  They always have a great shape to them as well, which makes them easier to peel or scrub.

 

 Harvesting Potatoes

I dug up the row and a half of Fingerlings aka Banana potatoes, because of their shape. As you can see, they are still sitting on in the garden. Later they’ll get sorted and put away. Fingerling potatoes are very expensive to buy at the store and very inexpensive to grow. Do yourself a favour and buy some Fingerling seed next year to get started.

These are wonderful potatoes to eat in the middle of summer and why pay $2.00 a pound when you don’t have to. 

 

IMG 1028 300x225 Harvesting Potatoes

We grew a few Yukon Golds this year and here they are. We are not as pleased with them as we find they don’t taste as good as they used to years ago. I have no clue why that would be, but we have other varieties that we like much better.

We also grew Russet potatoes, which are a good keeper. A row of Cariboo potatoes was harvested too – these are really good. They used to be available as a seed potato, but you can’t find them anymore. The only way you can get some is to beg a few off someone growing them in the Cariboo. We were fortunate to get a few several years ago and for the first couple of years we only ate the little ones and saved all of the others for seed. Now we get a good harvest of these as well.

So, slowly, we are getting the gardens emptied and ready for winter.  This afternoon, we are going to get a load of horse manure to put on the gardens, which is what we use as “fertilizer”. After a good layer of horse manure gets spread out, I will throw down fall  rye seed. It will likely begin to grow before the snow flies, then will go dormant over Winter.
 
By next Spring, it will start growing again and will get all it’s goodness tilled into the garden. At that point, we’ll be ready for planting again.
 

Comments

  1. They look good! I haven’t dug mine yet. September 19 and no frost. That’s almost unheard of here. The plants are starting to die naturally so it’s about time.

    Yokon Golds like a richer soil than any other variety I grow. I do like them a lot but there are other varieties I like as well that don’t need better soil.

    You’ll get a kick out of this. Text from Steve: “Just ordered a load of cow sh*t for you.” Now that right there is true love.

    • Avatar of Annie Annie says:

      Ah, true love! Nothing like I load of cow shit for the one you love. ha! We will likely reduce the number of Yukon Gold again next year. For us, Cariboo and Chieftains are the best for “new potatoes” Fingerlings too. I think we will probably plant a lot of Russets next year and they can be the longest keepers.