How to know when potatoes are ready/leaving them in the ground

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BabyStar

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I planted some potatoes (I don't know if they are earlies or maincrops but going to guess maincrops) but can't remember when I did it! I would have thought it was approx. a month ago. They have grown really well the plants have reached about a foot and a half high. No flowers or such yet. How do you know when they're ready to be pulled up? Is there a usual sign to look out for?
Also is it right that you can leave potatoes in the ground and pull them when you need to? When we dug over our veg plots we found old potatoes in the ground and a couple of potato plants have sprung up in strange places so presume you can?
Many thanks!

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mumofstig

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It really does help if you know if they are early, 2nds or maincrop...or even just variety ::)

here's a recent post which may help. http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=77076.msg870259#msg870259


you can leave them in till the autumn, but after that I'd lift and store any uneaten ones before they get frost damaged. Also if the weather turns wetter the slugs will damage any left in the ground.
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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bigben

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Main crop tend to not be ready till a lot later in the season Aug/Sept ish. One clue that they are starting to develop is flowers appearing but some types do not even produce them. If all else fails carefully dig down and try to have a feel, if you get something the size of a grape then leave them longer! :)

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BabyStar

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Checked the packaging and it doesn't say, it mentions 1sts, 2nds and maincrops! They are Maris Pipers. Will have to have a crafty feel I think, I am getting too curious now to see how they're doing!

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moose

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I think Maris Piper are an early maincrop.

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DD.

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According to tne British Potato Council, they are a maincrop:

http://varieties.potato.org.uk/display_description.php?variety_name=Maris Piper

That makes things easier, you just leave them until the foiliage dies down.
Did it really tell you to do THAT on the packet?

Seeds are SOWN, planting's for plants (and bulbs & tubers)!

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BabyStar

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Thank you! So when the green starts to die off they should be ready? Will they flower first?

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bigben

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DD.

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Thank you! So when the green starts to die off they should be ready? Will they flower first?

Well, they won't flower after the foiliage has died down.  :lol:

Sorry!

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BabyStar

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Thank you! So when the green starts to die off they should be ready? Will they flower first?

Well, they won't flower after the foiliage has died down.  :lol:

Sorry!

I guess not! Wasn't sure if all potatoes had flowers, which may sound stupid but have never grown them before!

They are starting to flower now, little purple and white ones so think things are progressing nicely...

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GreenOwl

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If they develop seedpods, which look like green tomatoes, don't eat the them.  The seedpods that is.  Potatoes will be fine but the seedpods are poisonous.



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