Potatoes blooming - how long to harvest?

I have a 50 foot long bed of potatoes. They are growing well, but they have started to bloom. Is there any kind of a rule of thumb for how long from blossoms to harvest? They have never bloomed so early in the season before.
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Everything is FUBAR'd now, due to global warming. We had a tiny rain in JUNE, which never happened before in the umpty years I've been in So. Calif coastal. A definite rainy season, +- Nov to Mar, but not after. Not any more!
(I know this doesn't answer your q. but not knowing your area...) HB
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wrote:

LOL, global warming has really messed up our farming. Last year spring and early summer was so cold and wet that some farmers didn't even bother planting. We did not get any tomatoes or peppers or eggplants at all last year. None!
This year, same thing, but I was prepared for it and started a hundred or so toms/peppers/eggplants in larger pots indoors, and babied them for a couple of months. Now it's July, the weather is still cold and wet but finally not as cold and not as wet, and I'm getting ready to put the last of the potted eggplants in the ground. Beans are half rotten because of cold and rain, I'm going to try reseeding them, though it's a bit late in the season.
Squash is growing like crazy, just now putting out second leaves, still small and tender. Okra is just sitting there like I'm nuts for trying to grow okra in cold mud (I probably am...).
Dang global warming anyhow...mankind just can't keep from screwing everything up. Look at the ice age George Bush caused 50,000 years ago! Dang republicans anyhow!
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On 6/18/2011 6:52 PM, Zootal wrote:

I've always been taught that one simply waits until the plant dies back and then carefully digs up the tubers. If the ground is dry and well-drained then it is safe to wait a bit before harvesting but if the ground is wet it is necessary to harvest immediately to avoid rot. That said, I haven't actually grown potatoes since I was a child but even then it seemed pretty easy and sometimes the yield was amazing for such a small piece of ground and so little effort.
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They are starting to die back already. They look like the healthiest spuds I've grown in several years, nice and green and well formed, but the plants are smaller then usual. They started blooming earlier and smaller than I've seen them do in prior years. Now they are falling over and the lower leaves are yellowing, so the die back is starting. Looks like whatever tubers are going to develop are already there, so I'm giong to start digging them up over the course of the next few weeks.
I need the ground fall planting, which has to be done by mid July or so because summers don't last long here (dang global warming).
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On 2011-07-01, Zootal wrote:

I't climate change and it is rapidly doing so. There are no longer summers here in SW ID but long springs of wet and last year it did not freeze until late Nov. Started snowing on Dec. 2. I think that that big long el nino off the coast of the top of CA to the lower part of WA has a lot to do with it too.
--
Bud

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Wait for the flowers to disappear, and the leaves start to brown. Here the potatoes don't die back until January or February (Zone 9b).
--
- Billy

Mad dog Republicans to the right. Democratic spider webs to the left. True
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I'd just check for new potatoes after the plants look punk. You have to remember some 4 legged critters that love straight rows are keeping a nose out too. So I'd harvest too early rather than too late unless you like moles and voles. Storage becomes an issue like having a small root cellar.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden

"The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow." - Anon
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