Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Diggin' Tatters

So earlier this year I did a post about Panting Potatoes and I got a lot of response to it. My friend Carrie ask me to do one about harvesting potatoes and I am more than happy to oblige.

Usually the potato vie will grow and be full and robust and then bloom and then it will slowly die off and that's when you will harvest them, but that wasn't the case with mine this year.

Ya see mine had a problem with disease and I wasn't able to get out there and spray them near as much as they needed so the plants looked pretty bad and...

Some of them just died off. When this started to happen I decided it was time to get out there and start diggin' them.

Harvesting potatoes is really easy and young kids love it.

If the plants are still pretty strong one of the easiest ways is just to grab hold of the plant and pull the tatters out of the ground...

I thought I planted all red potatoes, but I ended up with some white ones. I guessing this was one of my shriveled up ones, other wise I have no idea how I got it.

If you aren't able to pull them, like I couldn't very much this year, then you will need to dig them. There are a few different ways of doing this...

You could get a potato fork...

 and use it to turn the ground over and...

 expose the potatoes, but...

Every once in a while you might get a causality. Throw this one on the top of the pile and make mash potatoes with it later, or if you have a lot of potatoes just chuck it.

(A potato fork is very much like a pitch fork, but the tines are flatter and straighter. You can get them at any farm and home store.)

Now even if you use a potato fork or you pull them, you will still probably have to get down on your hands and knees and do a little diggin' cause there will be some down there hiding from you.

What I found to work the best for me is to straddle the row and just go to town turning the the soil and bringing them to the surface.

Now I won't lie, I really thought I wasn't going to have many tatters this year since I had the disease problem but...

I was wrong. This what I got from one row so double this and well I have tatters coming out my ears!!!

O-well they keep pretty well. If you have a cool dry place that is best for storing them.

I have to settle with a just a dry place, cause there is no such thing a cool around here right now.

As you can see they are pretty easy to harvest, the only thing you have to worry about is not finding all the tatters when you are digging. So if you are having little kids help with the digging, you might want to follow them to make sure they found them all, cause I'm sure they will miss some along the way.

Once again if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Good Luck,



  1. Lance's family has always grown at least a good row of potatoes, but the past couple of years, they've been going kaput. I guess it's cause it's dry, then it floods on it, then it's dry, then it floods, lol.

  2. Mmmm, what I wouldn't give to be your neighbor! ;) What beauties! My Mom always canned new potatoes and fresh green beans together, and we enjoyed them in the winter.

  3. i loooove how you said "harvesting potatoes is easy and young kids love it". i still yell "GOLD NUGGET" every time we turn the soil over and i see the prize. SO FUN!!! cant wait until this year's crop; my son "might" be old enough to help. or might not. LOL.

  4. Great post! We get all of our gardening tools from Family Center Farm and Home ( ). We go to the one in Missouri, but I think they have a location in Kansas too!