Harvest potatoes before it freezes??

ppetropuloOctober 5, 2012

Hi! This is my first post, so, I hope it turns out ok. Ok, so, it's supposed to snow today, although I'm not sure how much. My question is, should I first harvest my potatoes? They're in grow bags. I know that if I don't harvest them, the tops are just going to die anyway from the frost, so does it really matter if I leave them in the ground? Thanks!

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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Leave them in. Dig as you need them.
It's a natural cold storage! Snow is very insulating.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Cool (no pun intended:)! The only problem is, once winter really gets in, the ground is going to be frozen about 85% to 95% of the time. Hmm... Do you think if I leave them in for another week or two it will really make a difference? Thanks for the reply!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:43PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

If potatoes are left in the ground and it freezes, they will become watery and unusable. It would be better to dig, harden off and store in cool dark conditions.

Any state Extension site will have information about long-term storage. It's best to go with the Extension nearest you as conditions differ depending upon the part of the country. You're talking about snow tonight and here it's still ranging in the 70's, so the circumstances are totally different.

The potato variety will also be a factor as some are better keepers than others.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:31AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

If the tops are still alive, your potatoes are not at all mature. However, the frost is going to kill the tops anyhow, so you might as well harvest. They won't grow any more.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 6:16AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Yes, sorry, if you're in an area where the ground freezes hard, they need to be harvested.
No zone listed in your user name. I am coming from my perspective where the ground never really freezes solid.

I apologize.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Oh, umm... I'm not terribly good with zones, but I live in the rocky mountains of Colorado, so hopefully that helps! I'll get a friend to come over and help me dump the bags, even though its blizzarding outside. Save the potatoes!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:26AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

When you get time, check out the U.S. Hardiness Zone Finder at the link. It can be helpful, but the information provided also includes a good discussion of zone map limitations.


Here is a link that might be useful: US Hardiness Zones

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 5:39PM
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