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Right...have harvested my what in Gods name do i do with them now? There are so many? How do I store them???

(19 Posts)
panicpants Thu 18-Jun-09 15:21:59

Title says it all really

How do I store them..or should I have left them in the ground?

MrsMuddle Thu 18-Jun-09 15:33:42

No idea, but how did you know they were ready to harvest? I've planted mine in two bags (first earlies) and all this rain has made the plants enormous. Should I harvest soon...?

AppleAndBlackberry Thu 18-Jun-09 15:45:30

First spread them out and let them dry completely if they aren't already. Don't clean the soil off until you want to use them.

Then store them somewhere cool but not the fridge (e.g. the garage) and they should be in the dark but the air should be able to circulate so don't use a plastic bag or box.

Finally check them every few weeks and remove any bad ones.

Hope this helps!

Mrs Muddle - I wouldn't harvest until September normally but it depends on the variety. Obviously if the plants die then you need to harvest ASAP.

panicpants Thu 18-Jun-09 19:20:38

My Dad told me too, and the old chap next door dug his up last week. My actual plants were beginning to go over as well.

I did them in bags too, can't believe how many I got. Only did it to see if I could and for ds really as well.

Next year I'm going to do it in the ground..can't believe how easy they are to grow. Much less work than the rest of the veg in the garden!

Thanks for the advice Appleandblackberry..I guess from your name you are a keen gardener?

ABetaDad Thu 18-Jun-09 20:34:50

Storage in strong thick hessian sacks is a traditional farm method. Modern farm stores use open topped slatted wooden boxes. You might be able to copy either method at home on a smaller scale. In both cases, keeping the potatoes dry and in the dark is crucial. Do not wash before you need to use them or drop them as they bruise easily.

Ideally they should be stored at 5 - 10 degrees centigrade (not below that though). You may be able to get reasonably close to those conditions in say a cellar in your house if it has no boiler in it or a garage (but care with rat and mice infestation).

ABetaDad Thu 18-Jun-09 20:37:37

Here is a place you can buy hessian potato sacks on the web.

MrsMuddle Thu 18-Jun-09 20:52:23

Thanks A&B and ABetaDad (you really are a font of knowledge - you helped me with a plumbing problem before, too!)

Do you need to harvest them all at once? I was just going to take them out the growing bag as and when I needed them. There's an opening at the bottom of the bag, so I was going to start from there and work up.

ABetaDad Thu 18-Jun-09 21:21:28

Mrsmuddle - on harvesting I would endorse what A&B said earlier about leaving them in the soil until tops die off.

I would tend to suggest harvesting from the top of the bag though (if possible) by digging down, taking what you want, then covering the remaning ones back over again. My Dad routinely used to harvest just enough potatoes for Sunday lunch that way when I was a child - but they were grown direct in the soil in the field or garden not a bag.

Harvesting from the bottom of the bag will probably undermine the root system and kill the plant quicker. I would be interested to hear what A&B thinks on that issue though.

<not sure about 'font of knowledge' as DW usually says 'mine of useless information'> grin

Concepta Thu 18-Jun-09 21:38:24

Hessian bags are great and they can be used time and time again. My garden centre gave me some free of charge last year - they had loads - they must get them with plants or trees or something in them. Because I am a regular at the garden centre the lady was very kind and didnt charge. Be sure and check them in the bags regularly as if there is one rotten one in there it will rot others in due course. Well done. We have some in raised beds but just did some earlier ones in bags too. Ours aren't ready to harvest yet, but can't wait as the ones in the shops are not good at the minute.

Mspontipine Thu 18-Jun-09 23:19:06

Oh now I want some!! envy

Next year will plant potatoes...

Clwc Fri 19-Jun-09 10:41:37

We have a hessian potato sack, but I don't think one will be enough for our crop, when the time comes. Another option (for the skinflints out there - me) is to wrap each muddy potato in newspaper and keep in a wire/wooden container. If it's not dark enough, the potatoes will turn green (toxic). If it's not dry enough, they may rot.

LilRedWG Fri 19-Jun-09 10:44:41

FIL said that he will put his in paper sack and rebury until he wants to use them. Keeps the rats away apparently. hmm

BlueChampagne Fri 19-Jun-09 13:22:05

We leave ours in the ground; it would cripple us to lift them all at once! We grow Desirees on nematoded ground and most aren't tunnelled even in February.

gardeningmum05 Fri 19-Jun-09 13:35:12

we have been eating our spuds for a couple of weeks now,lovely wink
i store mine in a plastic tub but wont earth up my charlotte potatoes until we have finished these.
am going to invest in the hessian storage sack for potatoes that is in the betterware catolgue.
its the only time i have ever bought anything from the catolgue but it look pretty cool grin
i know, i need to get out more blush

Clwc Fri 19-Jun-09 14:42:24

Lol. It's the Betterware sack that I have!

BlueChampagne, What is 'nematoded' ground? And what do you mean by 'tunneled'?

Am I the only one who didn't get that? blush

panicpants Fri 19-Jun-09 20:21:11

Great advice everyone....bit worried about the rats now though!!

sis Fri 19-Jun-09 20:35:10

Nematodes are teeny tiny creatures that you water into the soil and they are supposed to kill slugs. One of the risks of leaving potatoes in the ground for too long is that slugs will tunnel through them - annoyingly, they don't just feast on one or two potatoes, they make a tunnel through lots of them making them all impossible to store! So the nematoded soil will have stops the slugs making holes in all of BlueChampagne's potatoes even though they stayed in the ground months later than is the norm.

Clwc Sat 20-Jun-09 00:52:14

Oh. Thank-you sis I'd never heard of that before. You learn something new every day (especially on MN) xx

MaggieW Wed 24-Jun-09 18:59:56

Hessian sacks in Poundland today - two for £1!

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