(New) Potatoes Solanum tuberosum
New potatoes are potatoes that are harvested young, or before the potato plant dies back and the potatoes fully mature. They have a thin, tender skin which is rarely peeled, are generally sweeter than mature potatoes, and are particularly delicious when pulled fresh from the garden.
When and how and how should I harvest new potatoes?
If your potato plants have flowered, it is likely the new potatoes have formed! To harvest, gently dig around the base of your potato plant, being very careful not to disturb the plant, and pull out potatoes that are close to the surface. The plant will continue to photosynthesis, feeding the potatoes that are left in the ground as they continue to grow.
If they are so good, why not harvest all your potatoes as new potatoes?
New potatoes don’t make a great storage crop because of their thin skins and high moisture levels.
How should I store new potatoes?
We recommend you use new potatoes within a few days of harvesting, but they can be stored for a week or two in the refrigerator. If refrigerating new potatoes, keep the unwashed potatoes in a paper bag or loosely wrapped plastic. Washing the potatoes with water will shorten their storage life and should be done gently because their tenders skins will easily scrub off. If the potatoes you pull from your garden are really dirty, gently wipe the dirt off with a dry towel.
If you are not planning to harvest any of your young potatoes and would like to let all of the tubers mature, let the foliage die back completely before harvesting. Once the foliage had died back, you can remove the unsightly brown leaves by simply cutting them down. The potatoes can remain in the ground until late fall, or until a danger of frost. All potatoes should be dug out of the garden by the first frost.
The mature potatoes will store 3-6 months if stored in a dry, dark, well ventilated place with a temperature around 40°F