How to store potatoes correctly

How to store potatoes correctly

We talked about how to prepare potato tubers for the upcoming spring planting. But in order for everything to work out, you first need to properly prepare the crop for storage, so that in the spring you do not have to run to the market for new tubers, which can be safely planted in the beds.

Important! Choose the right potato varieties that will tolerate storage well throughout the winter..

This is perhaps one of the most important criteria. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to preserve early potato varieties after December. They are simply not meant to be. So indulge the family with young potatoes, eat early harvests in summer and autumn, and for winter, choose late varieties specially designed for this purpose..

Potato varieties

Potato varieties that are well stored in winter: the so-called “Holland”, to this name the inhabitants of our country include almost all varieties of potatoes that have a pink or red peel. Several official varieties can hide under this name, but they all have in common – a pink-reddish rind, high density, white pulp, which is difficult to boil. “Hollanda” are stored for a long time, germinate poorly, a good choice for storage. Also, such varieties as the yellow “Gala”, which grows well in the central regions of Russia, the Belarusian “Zhuravinka”, “Nevsky”.

Potato variety Romano

In general, the main advice is to choose for bookmarking in the winter only those varieties that ripen later..

Digging up potatoes should also be correct. If you damage the tubers with a shovel – that’s it, you won’t be able to store them in winter! Harvest as carefully as possible, we hope that you planted potatoes systematically, that is, after a certain interval, in even rows. In this case, the harvesting is easier, without searching for tubers “by the scientific poke method” with a shovel bayonet. Only absolutely whole, undamaged tubers are stored for a long time. Everything else should be used immediately.

Harvesting potatoes

After harvesting, the potatoes must be dried, it is advisable to clear a little of the earth (but not necessarily, it is not a matter of beauty, but of safety), sort out. Do not dry in the sun! Will turn green, and such potatoes can lead to indigestion. A little, in the shade, just get rid of excess earth and moisture.

Potato harvest

We sort out the potatoes for storage in winter, carefully, piece by piece. We literally study each tuber for damage, green spots on the peel, holes from pests, rot … We choose only the most whole potatoes that will probably survive the winter.

Harvested potatoes in crates

As for the optimal storage temperature, there is still controversy in this area. Some people call the optimal temperature about zero degrees, because in this case the potatoes germinate less. However, according to numerous reviews of summer residents, it is too cold. Let’s define it this way – for potatoes, the range from +2 to +5 degrees will be optimal.

Storing potatoes in the cellar

Of course, potatoes are best kept in the cellar. It’s dark and cool enough. It is important to ensure the humidity is no more than 50–70%, preferably closer to 50%, so that moisture does not play into the hands of rot. Our grandparents kept potatoes in bulk, that is, they poured the entire crop into a large chest of boards installed in the corner of the cellar. There were even special cellars, shallow, exclusively for potatoes, where the tubers were simply poured from above, without any boxes. And everything was kept quite well.

Storing potatoes in the cellar in boxes

Nowadays, potatoes are most often stored in wooden or plastic boxes, providing ventilation and a minimum of contact with “neighbors” who may be infected. If you decide to store potatoes on an insulated balcony (I mean not a heated one, but just a glazed and insulated balcony), then it is advisable to take care of a special chest, a box that can be protected from frost with polystyrene or a cloth, cover it on top, for example, with an old blanket so that tubers are not frozen in cold weather.

Storing potatoes on the balcony

Important! No matter how carefully you sort and store the potatoes, you still have to sort them out!

Tune in to the fact that after the New Year (if you store late varieties) for the first time, you will have to go down to the basement not for conservation or a portion of potatoes, but for tedious but necessary work – bulkheads of potatoes. You will need to remove all the shoots, because in winter they are not needed by anyone, and the tubers because of them lose their elasticity and useful properties. Medium potatoes germinate after 90 days, late ones – about 110 days after storage.

Sprouted potatoes

Usually, well-stored potato varieties are sorted at least twice a winter, removing all shoots and damaged tubers that can infect others. Perhaps, if the cellar is too warm, you will have to do this three times..

Potatoes store well with beets, these vegetables help each other to cope with harmful microorganisms. Usually potatoes are not sprinkled with sand, this method does not help. If the cellar or balcony is too cold for storing potatoes, then you should install special lamps, painted over with dark varnish, or other sources of heat.

Potatoes in the cellar

It is noteworthy that potatoes grown in dry and hot summers are stored better and have a more attractive taste. Let it be smaller at the same time, it doesn’t matter. A rainy summer can lead to crops of watery potatoes that rot faster and are less tasty..

Mashed potatoes

Experts believe that if you do not have the conditions to store potatoes, it is better to buy them during the winter, overpaying a little, than just throwing away sprouted, spoiled stocks..

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