Yesterday I harvested my first bag of potatoes. I planted these potatoes out in February, and they in theory take about 10 weeks before they are ready to harvest. Given how early I planted them out, I gave them a fair bit longer than that�plants tend to grow slower in cold weather. These particular potato plants seemed to have stopped growing, much of the foliage had died back and was providing a good feast for slugs, ants, and woodlice; so it seemed like the right time to harvest.
To harvest, I tipped the grow-bag on its side, and pulled the plants out on to an opened-up compost bag. This exposed most of the tubers, which I collected up. I discarded any of the original seed potatoes that I found, as these had by this point become little more than shrivelled bags of slime. I then rummaged through the remaining soil in the grow-bag, and found many more tubers by doing so.
In total, I harvested 900g of potatoes. This was slightly less than I was hoping for, but still plenty more that I would usually eat. First-early potatoes are not particularly great for storing, so I shall have to eat what I have harvested as quickly as I reasonably can.
I have already used 400g of the potatoes to make a potato salad. Hopefully I should be able to get through the remainder whilst they are still at their best.
I still have two sacks of potatoes growing. These varieties ('Wilja' and 'Charlotte') grow to conventional potato plant size, far larger than the 'Swift' potatoes that I have just harvested�which never grew to be that tall.
These remaining potatoes are unlikely to be ready to harvest until July or August. Hopefully the longer wait will also mean a better yield.