Growing Potatoes Takes Just a Little Time

When planting spuds, you’re likely envisioning hash browns and mashed potatoes and potato soup; but you’re probably also wondering how long you’ll have to wait to harvest your veggies; the short answer to that it varies, but there’s more to the story than that. Read on to learn when you can expect ripe, edible potatoes from your garden.


What Kind of Spud Did You Plant?

The biggest factor in the time it will take for your potatoes to ripen is the type of potato you put in the ground. There are varieties of spuds that are known to be early, late, or mid-season plants; most potatoes are planted early in the season, but ripen after different growing times.

Early season potatoes, like Yukon Gold, Norland, or Irish Cobbler, are ready to harvest in about 10 to 12 weeks. It’s important that your seed potatoes are certified disease free to ensure that your spuds are ready to harvest and eat when you expect them.

If you choose to plant mid-season potatoes, you can expect to wait 95 to 110 days for them to ripen. There are many types of mid-season potato out there, too:

  • Catalina Chieftain
  • French Fingerling
  • Gold Rush
  • Kennebec
  • Purple Viking
  • Purple Viking
  • Apple Viking
  • Red Pontiac

You can count on at least four months, and possibly five, for late season potatoes to be ready for harvest. These plants will produce plants later in the growing season, of course, while offering a wide range of flavors, colors, shapes, and sizes.

For late season potatoes, consider Canela Russet, Carola Desiree, Fingerling Salad, German Butterball, or other varieties labeled for late season planting.

How to Know It’s Time to Harvest

There is no set time for your potatoes to ripen, and you’ll notice that the times mentioned here are a range of days or weeks. Because potatoes grow underground, though, there’s got to be a way to tell when they’re ready, right? Of course!

As your plants approach their harvest time, watch their foliage. The best determiner of your potatoes’ readiness is the leaves and flowers above the ground. Watch these aspects of your garden to know when to pull your tubers.

As your potatoes approach ripeness, the flowers and leaves on the surface will dry out and wither. When they are fully dry, pull up a spud or two. Scrub at the skin of your test potatoes, and see if it comes off easily; if so, they aren’t quite ready, and you need to wait a bit longer.