Harvesting time for potatoes does vary depending on the type of potato you are growing, and also the part of the UK you are in because this influences when they can be planted in the first place. For instance, potatoes are very sensitive to frost, so you will be ready to plant much sooner in the growing year in the south of England than you will in the north of Scotland. Things like greenhouses can also enable you to get planting sooner which means your time to harvest will arrive earlier.
Generally speaking, If planting:
- First earlies – planted late March to early April
- Second earlies – planted early-ish April to the middle of April
- Maincrops – planted the middle to late April
Then they will roughly be ready:
- First earlies – 10 weeks from the time of planting
- Second earlies – 13 weeks from the time of planting
- Maincrops – 20 weeks from the time of planting
- Early maincrops – 15 weeks from the time of planting
- Second cropping – 12 weeks from the time of planting
A good sign to watch out for that will tell you your potatoes are ready to harvest is when any flowers that bloomed begin to fade or unopened flower buds drop off, and the foliage starts to turn yellow from the vibrant green they were. At this point, cut the foliage down and remove it, then wait 7 to 10 days before harvesting.
Potatoes have a long growing season, so with a little know-how, you can get them planted early, maximise your yields, and even plant again in the late summer with second copping potatoes so you have a supply of fresh home-grown potatoes well into winter.
Seed potatoes can be planted in July/August for potatoes to be harvested at Christmas, perfect for your festive feasts!
If you’re interested in how to grow potatoes outside in the soil or in grow bags from the beginning right through to harvest, we have great guides for you to follow linked to below that takes you through the whole process.