Ask the Experts: Growing and Harvesting Potatoes 

You can enjoy growing and collecting potatoes in a vast garden or a few pots on a balcony. A general guide to getting started 

There are thousands of potato varieties with different flavours and textures. Russet, Yukon Gold, and Red Pontiac are popular. Pick varieties by taste and use (baking, boiling, frying).  

Choosing Potatoes  

Growing potatoes requires seed potatoes, little potatoes from the previous crop or purchased for sowing. Seed potatoes emerge from at least one eye. Plant early in spring, a few weeks before the last frost.   

Planting Potatoes  

As potatoes grow, mound soil around their bases to hide lower leaves. This increases potato stem development and protects tubers from sunlight, which turns them green and creates solanine.   

Growing Potatoes  

Pick young potatoes 7-8 weeks after sowing when they bloom. Immature potatoes have thin skins and sensitive meat. Wait 2-3 weeks after flowering for full-sized potato plants to yellow and die. This indicates ripe tubers.   

Harvesting Potatoes  

Store gathered potatoes in a dark, cold, well-ventilated cellar or pantry. Avoid storing them in the fridge because cold temperatures convert starches to sugars, making them taste awful when cooked.  

Storing Potatoes  

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