No. Flowers appear way before the potato tubers have developed any size.
You can wait until the bushes have died down and turned brown, the spuds
won't be getting any bigger after that. But there is nothing stopping
you from scratching around the base of a plant to see what size the crop
is, just take care not to damage the tiny taters. If you are in a wet
climate it would be wise to harvest your crop before the plants die down,
to make sure the spuds don't have a chance to rot in the damp ground.
If you haven't planted the seed potato real deep you will see the ground
swell and new potatoes become exposed to the sun. If this happens, cover
them with more soil or the exposed ones will turn green and be inedible.
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
No, it isn't. Potatoes will flower for a long time before the
potatoes are ready to harvest.
There are two stages of potatoes, "new" potatoes which are harvested
while the tops are still green and growing actively and potatoes which
are harvested when the whole top turns brown and dies off - this is
the main crop.
To harvest "new" potatoes and still leave the tops to grow on and give
you the later main crop, you can just wiggle your hand down into the
soil and feel around for any spuds which are big enough to eat - this
is called bandicooting (after an Australian animal). If you want to
do bandicooting for new potatoes on a regular basis the easiest way to
do this is to grow your potatoes under hay or straw. Simply put the
potatoes on top of the soil and then put a foot layer of hay/straw,
top that with manure water well tehn put on another foot of hay/straw.
When the potoatoes break through and the hay has collapsed, keep
topping the hay up as the tops grow and the potoates will keep sending
out more spuds from the stem. This is an especially good (and lazy
no-dig) method for establishing a new bed as when the potatoes are
finished you have good compost and a very rich weed free spot for the
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