Harvesting New Potatoes

Ready for dinner!

Ready for dinner!

You might also like to read about my First Green Onions of the Season.

New Potatoes from Our Garden

Our potato plants are doing very well this year and I’ve already spied a few flowers. Once a potato plant begins to flower, you know that there are some potatoes forming under the soil. I usually wait a few weeks after the flowers show up to start digging new potatoes from the garden, but we’re all out of them and I’ve been impatiently waiting for those first earthy gems.

Potato flowers signal the beginning of potato production.

Potato flowers signal the beginning of potato production.

I really hate to dig up the whole plant to harvest the first little potatoes of the season. However, you don’t have to sacrifice the rest of your crop to have new potatoes. Gently scrape the soil away from the sides of the plant to uncover your first harvest, then hill the soil back up over the roots. You can enjoy an early treat without sacrificing the plant and its future production this way. Oh sure, you won’t get as many large potatoes later on, but you won’t regret it as you dine on some new potatoes!

Carefully scrape away the soil from your potato hills to harvest new potatoes without losing your main harvest.

Carefully scrape away the soil from your potato hills to harvest new potatoes without losing your main harvest.

Of course, you can dig the entire hill and harvest all of the new potatoes, but you’ll want to plant extra to provide an early harvest, a main crop, and storage potatoes for the winter. I like to plant several varieties of potatoes for an extended harvest, with some for early use and others for storing.

My Gram M used to cook up these little beauties along with shelled peas in a pan with milk and butter. Add a little salt and pepper and you’ve got a meal fit for a king!

Do you harvest new potatoes? What is your favorite way to cook them?

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