Harvesting Potatoes, Sweet and Regular

We grow some potatoes in the garden every year and every year I harvest the m the same way. I start at the edge of the bed and put the pitchfork down a bout 3-4 inches, then I flip up the dirt in front of the prongs. If there a re potatoes there, they go into the basket, if not, I keep moving on, stabb ing and flipping along the row until I find something. No matter how carefu l I am, I generally impale a few tubers in the process. Not a big loss, we put those in the "eat quick" pile and store the rest in the cellar.
Does anyone have a better way to harvest them?
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote:

I'm new to the tater scene , but years ago I read about a method using tires . Stack 'em up and fill with mulch as the tater plants grow . I have modified that method to use extra tomato cages* , piling up straw as the plants grow . Mine all now have at least 18-24 inches of straw in the cages and I need more straw . I was concerned about exposing the potatoes to light , but that hasn't happened , and if it does I'll wrap them with either black plastic or tarpaper . -- Snag * I bought a roll of concrete rewire to make cages for the tomatoes with the intent of selling a few to defray the cost . Nobody's buying , so I ended up using some for cucumbers , the rest are on my taters .
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On Friday, July 18, 2014 9:40:08 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:


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I've heard of the straw method but never tried it; good luck with that. A f ew years ago I made a cage of hardware cloth, put potatoes at the bottom an d covered with rich, loose soil. As the plants grew, I added more dirt, lay er after layer. We kept up with the watering, too. After the plants died ba ck, I opened the cage and found only three or four potatoes inside. Not sur e what went wrong; I'll have to try again.
Paul
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On 7/18/2014 8:40 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

I did that same thing years ago, made a bunch of tomato cages out of heavy duty concrete wire, they were three feet in diameter, they lasted over twenty-five years and two moves. One year I tried the tater thing by planting the potatoes in the bottom of the cage, then layering oak leaves, of which we always had plenty, up to about four feet. Had the same problem other folks had, two or three taters down in the dirt, nothing above but a really long, skinny tater vine. Hope it works for you, I never tried it again.
George
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i'm not a potato grower, but the other day someone mentioned to me that they grow theirs by putting the potato starts under hay bales so that when they are done they just pull the bales back and the potatoes are right there.
songbird
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Pavel314 wrote:

Did your potato plants blossom ? I've been told they have to bloom before they'll make taters . I still pretty new to a lot of this stuff , and I'm growing stuff I've never tried /been successful at .
--
Snag



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On Friday, July 18, 2014 3:03:18 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

I don't remember if they blossomed or not, it's been a few years. If I try that again, I'll watch for blossoms.
Paul
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George Shirley wrote:

See my reply to Pavel re: blooming .
--
Snag



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Pavel314 wrote:

--

My method is to locate the above ground part of the plant first. For taters
this is the stem. For the sweet tater I grow it is the node on the vine.
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On 18/07/2014 10:34 PM, Pavel314 wrote:

I just use my gloved hands and bandicoot harvest as I need spuds IF I'm growing in good friable soil.
If the soil is not so good I use a fork and shove it down the side of the bed in one spot and work on form there as I need more spuds in the kitchen. I know where I've harvested because I leave a hole and keep workign onwards from where I started.
And potatoes don't need to produce a good lot of flowers to produce spuds - as far as I'm concerned there is no correlation between flower numbers and spud numbers.
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Fran Farmer wrote:

I can't think of any direct conection either. At a general level perhaps good flowering might indicate a healthy plant that stands a chance of good tubers but that's about all. Strong tops are required for strong tubers but not sufficient, that is you can get good tops with few taters but you can't get good taters from poor tops.
If you are thinking of breeding your own cultivar then flowers do become important.
David
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