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Harvesting potatoes

I've just grown my first maincrop potatoes - maris peer and a purple skinned one (can't remember what it's called). When I went into the garden this morning the leaves were rotted on all of them. They were fine earlier in the week (a bit chewed by the snails which are plaguing me this summer), and this seems to have happened very suddenly. Like many areas, we've had almost constant rain this summer in Wales. I dug up one plant of each variety. The potatoes are fine, but very small. Should I dig up the whole crop now, or might they grow a bit more if I leave them in the ground?


  • I would certainly chop off any haulm that is left standing because it sounds like 'blight',the spuds are not going to grow any more.

    As to digging up the whole crop depends on if they have suffered from the blight, try digging a few and if they are sound you could leave the rest for a week or two for the skins to set.

    Whatever don't compost the haulm,and any potatoes you store need checking weekly in case you have missed a bad one which will quickly spread to any others it is touching. I check about 4 weeks before being satisfied they will keep.

  • Thanks Netherfield. The ones I've dug up so far are fine, I'll try a few more and if they're Ok I'll leave the rest for a week or two, after I've chopped off the stalks. They're very tasty.



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