Potatoes - when is expected harvest time?

fujiapple(z9 Bay Area, Dublin, CA)April 20, 2009

We planted potatoes for the first time this year. I'm in California, between the bay area and the central valley, zone 9. The potatoes went in the ground on February 8th, but then we had a long period of cool/wet weather, so they didn't finally emerge until March 8th.

Since then they've been growing like crazy and they look great. I know that when the plants flower, we can dig up some new potatoes. And when the plants die back, the full crop will be ready for harvest.

But can anyone tell me about when that will be? I have no clue how long the growing season is.. and the package didn't specify days till harvest. We have Red, Fingerling, and Yukon Gold planted. I think I remember some of the labels said early season and/or early-mid season.

So based on the info I've provided:

When can I expect the plants to bloom?

When will they die back?


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fujiapple(z9 Bay Area, Dublin, CA)

Whoops, small correction:

Seed potatoes planted on Feb 8th
Plants emerged on March 1 (not 8th like I said before).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:18PM
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I have always expected to see flowers about 7 weeks after planting. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. After the plant dies flunctuates too much for me. Most of my potatoes are dug for new potatoes.

Hint. I dig new potatoes on a very wet day, after the ground is totally satuated. I try not the disturb the plant much, then I put the plant back into the wet ground, and SOMETIMES it continues to grow and produce more new potatoes. This does not work if the ground is not really, really wet.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 5:05PM
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bomber095(z5b MA)

Usually, you can expect your harvest in about 12-16 weeks after planting in my area (z5b). I'm expecting mine in mid August

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 5:58PM
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That sounds like here in the Cincinnati area. We use to plant in early to mid April and were able to get some spuds in mid July. They were not finished growing but when one has seven mouths to feed, one is willing to sacrifice a little production down the road for food now. Besides, we measured seed potatoes in the number of 50 pound bags planted! The most we ever raised was 700 pounds of seed potatoes one year!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:49PM
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In MI, I plant seed potatoes in early April and start eating them around the 4th of July (about 90 days). That is before last frost, but somehow they know not to come out of the ground if it is cold and I never lost one to a freeze. Coincidentally, I also grow those three. For you it will be a shorter wait. Perhaps you can start eating the Yukon and Red around May 15 (they will be young, but so good). The fingerlings are more late season, I never touch them before september.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 6:30PM
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I think the temperature patern is a factor in potato maturity. That means, if in one place days highs are 75F and nights lows 50F and in another location they are 85F and 60F, then potato plants will mature in shorter time in the latter.
But generally, potato plant will mature in 100 to 120 days; That is from sprouting out of ground till harvest.

In zone 7/8 (GA) I planted in early March.But we have had a lot of cooler days/nights. So I expect to harvest early in July. I can (hopefully) reach in and get young potatoes from early June on. The flowering and stem texture can tell that too. As the plant gets near harvest time, its stems become woody and turn light brown or pale green.

But the best indication will be on the potatoes that you dig out. The skin should be harder and will look like store bought ones. But as long as there is no danger of frost, and plants top have some life, I would leave them in the ground longer.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:12AM
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I live in LA, and just harvested (June 10, 2012) some fist size potatoes (my first - yea!). I also found some little seed potatoes which i left in the ground. The plant tops have completely died back. Do I continue to water the tiny seed potatoes and will they grow now ?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 5:44PM
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