Potatoes have become a part of our daily diet - we boil it, stew it, fry it, bake it, prepare holiday dishes from it. It is difficult to imagine a whole winter without this irreplaceable vegetable, especially given the beneficial properties of potatoes and their nutritional value. Therefore, in every family with the onset of autumn the question arises: "How to store potatoes?"
After all, it is quite expensive to buy tubers in the store all year round, it is more profitable to make stocks in advance. And if you grow vegetables on your own plot, storing potatoes becomes especially relevant. Where to define the bags with dug tubers so that you can prepare a variety of dishes before the next harvest?
Of course, the best option is storing potatoes in the cellar, but if you live in a city apartment, and there is no underground or basement in your house, you can put bags of potatoes in the pantry, in the corridor, adapt the boxes for crops in the living rooms, or take them out to the balcony. In warm rooms, tubers can be stored for three months, and on the balcony, potatoes in insulated boxes can withstand frosts down to -15 degrees.
Video on how to save potatoes until spring
Keep in mind that successful storage largely depends on the preparation of the tubers. They must be dried well (if possible in the fresh air) for several hours or days to prevent rotting and the occurrence of potato diseases. In addition, sorting of potatoes is of great importance: well-dried medium-sized tubers without flaws are placed for long-term storage, and for an average period, select the largest potatoes, since voids form in them over time, due to which the taste will deteriorate.
On a glassed-in balcony, tubers are better preserved than in a warm storage room, where they quickly begin to sprout. However, you need to constantly monitor the temperature so as not to miss severe frosts. Optimal storage of potatoes on the balcony is at temperatures from 0 to +7 degrees.
Successful storage largely depends on the preliminary preparation of the tubers.
The potatoes should be folded into fabric bags and placed in containers or wooden boxes that are displayed on the shelves. Leave a gap of about 15 cm between the wall and the boxes for ventilation of the tubers.
How to preserve potatoes when the outside temperature drops? Cover the drawers with warm items such as old blankets or unwanted clothing. In such conditions, tubers can survive until summer.
Ideal storage conditions for potatoes: no sunlight and humidity, temperature from 0 to +2 degrees. The most consistent with these parameters is a dark, dry basement or cellar, where frost does not penetrate, and the temperature is maintained at the same level.
Sunlight should not enter the cellar, otherwise the poisonous substance solanine will begin to be produced in the tubers.
The traditional technology for storing potatoes in the basement is as follows: tubers are stacked in bins in a layer up to one and a half meters (air must be provided to the lower layers) or in boxes with holes in the walls for ventilation. To prevent potatoes from rotting, place the boxes on supports at a height of 20 cm above the floor, and do not push the boxes close to the wall. The room must be ventilated, the walls and ceiling must first be whitewashed with milk of lime with the addition of vitriol and well ventilated. Sunlight should not enter the cellar, otherwise the poisonous substance solanine will begin to be produced in the tubers.
Video about how to properly store potatoes at home
You will be able to substantially extend the shelf life of potatoestaking into account the following recommendations:
For some owners of private houses, the cellar may be too damp, which means that it is impossible to properly store potatoes in it in winter. In this case, you can dig a special hole in the garden, where the whole potato crop will winter.
Find the driest spot where the groundwater is deep enough. Dig a hole with a diameter of about two meters and a depth of one and a half meters, arrange grooves around for the outflow of rainwater. The walls of the pit and the bottom must be laid out with straw. Pour the potatoes into the hole so that about 40-60 cm remains to its edges.Cover the tubers with dry straw or boards from above and cover the tubers with a 10-centimeter layer of soil for a start, and with the onset of frost add the soil to a thickness of 40-80 cm. Layer the ground above the pit should rise by about half a meter. For ventilation, provide an air duct that reaches the bottom of the pit, in the form of a plastic pipe, or made of boards.
Find the driest spot where the groundwater is deep enough
Now you know how to store potatoes correctly, all that remains is to choose the most suitable method and prepare the tubers properly for long-term storage.
All potatoes are stored, but the shelf life of potatoes varies. Late and mid-late varieties of potatoes are best preserved in winter. They are best stored in storage.
But it is not always necessary to be guided by the labels of elite varieties of potatoes for storage. Local zoned potatoes are time-tested. If he has positive reviews of gardeners about the taste, yield and shelf life, then it is worth giving preference to this particular variety.
Experienced summer residents are advised to plant several varieties of different ripening periods. Then, in any weather and conditions of care, you will not be left without a crop.
Vegetable growers advise to whitewash the walls and ceiling where the vegetable is stored. This is done to prevent mold from forming. Also check the room for holes and crevices, if there are any, be sure to seal them up.
At what temperature are potatoes stored? Make sure that the temperature in the room does not exceed 4 degrees. But doing it below this mark is not worth it, since the potatoes will lose their taste. The maximum allowable temperature is 7 degrees. At 0 degrees and below, the vegetable freezes up, becomes sweet and unusable, and soon rots.
Humidity must be kept around 85%. Low or too high humidity can damage the potatoes. If the air is very dry, place containers with water, moisture will evaporate from them.
The tubers are stored in the dark. Be sure to hide the vegetable from direct sunlight.
Recently, an understanding has come that it is necessary to consume the best possible potatoes, best grown with their own hands in their own summer cottage.
At the same time, it is indicative that the problem of preserving the harvest is of the greatest interest. And if you want the potatoes not to sprout, rot and not get infected with all kinds of diseases, then first you need to properly prepare it, and then observe all storage conditions exactly.
Naturally, first you need to first dig out the potatoes and slightly dry the tubers right in the garden under the sun.
Important! For detailed information on when and how to dig up a potato crop for storage, read in this material.
To wash or not wash potatoes before storing? - the question is quite interesting. Some summer residents note the rather significant advantages of such a procedure, others highlight the disadvantages that are decisive for them.
The main benefits of storing washed potatoes are:
The main disadvantages of storing washed potatoes are:
Note! It is clear that washing 50 buckets of potatoes is not realistic, but in this case it is quite possible to wash the seed material. However, as well as smaller volumes of potatoes.
Advice! You can always do your own experiment. Just remember that the main thing - this is dry washed potatoes well.
By the way! If you nevertheless decide to wash the potatoes, then it is very good (according to gardeners' reviews) to process it in a weak solution of brilliant green or other means, which will be written about later.
Only the healthiest and highest quality tubers should be sent for storage. There should be no damage, scratches, marks, stains or other defects on the potatoes.
One sick potato will be enough to ruin a large part of the crop.
It is advisable to sort the tubers by size. It is noteworthy that medium nodules are stored better and longer, small and too large ones are worse, they should be eaten as soon as possible.
Important! Separately should be sorted seed potatoes... For planting next year, you should choose the strongest bush with the most exemplary tubers.
How to properly prepare and store planting material, read on.
After such as you lightly dry the dug tubers still in the garden, and then sort, do not rush to carry them directly to the cellar. It is advisable that the potatoes pass before storing rehabilitation or preparatory period (sometimes it is also called curative), the indisputable advantages of which are the following points:
So, arrange the tubers in a single layer on a dry mat under a canopy, for example, in a summer kitchen or in the attic, or put them in boxes or in mesh bags. At the same time, it is important that the temperature is kept in the region of + 18 ... + 13 degrees (with a gradual decrease), and the humidity is at least 85-95%.
Thus, potato tubers should lie for about 1.5-2 weeks (although some summer residents advise holding it for a month). Such a treatment period will greatly increase the chances of longer storage.
Recommendation! When you dig, wash, dry, sort, process and store - do everything carefully and do not damage the potato tubers, only whole specimens will be stored for a long time.
Protective treatment of tubers will help to avoid premature decay and spoilage of potatoes, which means, thereby significantly extending the shelf life.
One of the most proven potato treatments is the solution copper sulfate (2 grams per bucket of water), which need to be sprayed generously on the tubers, and then dried well.
For the same purposes, you can use herbal infusion, for the preparation of which you need to pour 350 grams of wormwood, 150 grams of sleepy and 50 grams of tobacco leaves with 1 liter of water and let it brew for a day. Spray tubers (consumption - about 50 ml per 10 kg).
By the way!
- If you spread phytoncidal plants between potato tubers (mint, wormwood, snow, mountain ash, elderberry and tobacco leaves, pine or spruce branches), then this can also protect them from various rot and other diseases.
- On average, 10 kg of harvest will require about 100-200 grams of phytoncidal herbs.
It may seem like too much time-consuming preparation such a long and thorough preparation, but it will definitely be rewarded with the longest storage period for your potatoes.
In general, there are few differences, except that the future planting tubers should be "greened" at the preparation stage (kept longer in the sun, but preferably still under diffused sunlight), in other words,
If the tubers that will be used for food are processed as desired, then it is recommended to sprinkle the seed, and such a drug as "Maxim Dachnik" is ideal for you. Then dry thoroughly and store in a separate place.
In order for potatoes to be stored for a long time, the following conditions must be met in the room:
- If the temperature is below normal, then the potatoes will freeze, higher - they will begin to germinate.
- Excessively high humidity (above 90%) - rotting will begin, below - it will dry out and wrinkle.
- Storing tubers in the light will cause them to turn green, that is, they will develop such a poisonous substance as solanine and they will become unusable.
Of course, the best place to store potatoes in winter is a cellar or basement. But you can save potatoes without a cellar, that is, at home, namely on a balcony or loggia, or right in an apartment in a storage room under or next to a window.
As for the specific methods of storing potatoes, depending on the containers and structures used, this can be:
As mentioned earlier, it is best to store potatoes in a cellar, because it is “underground” during the entire storage season that the necessary constant temperature regime is maintained. Now it remains to determine what is preferable to store the tubers, which container to choose.
For storing potato tubers, it is optimal to choose wooden boxes, moreover, they should have small gaps between the rungs so that air can easily pass inward.It is also good that the box has a lid (also with holes or gaps between the boards).
Advice! After you put the potatoes in the boxes, it is advisable to sprinkle it on top with sawdust, which absorbs excess moisture well.
Storage of potatoes is often practiced on special rackswhen the tubers are laid out in just one layer. So it will be easier to keep track of them and select spoiled ones in time.
Besides wooden boxes, potatoes can be stored in plastic boxes (mesh), as well as in mesh bags and sacks made of burlap. The main thing is that the container "breathes", in other words, there are ventilation holes in it.
By the way! Before pouring potatoes into a container, you should process the container itself for storage, for example, with potassium permanganate, and then dry it.
Do not place crates or sprinkle potatoes directly on the bare floor:
Before storing any vegetables and fruits, including potatoes, the basement or cellar must also be carefully processed and disinfected. Also, do not forget that ventilation should function properly in the basement, but in any case, you should periodically additionally ventilate the room.
If you are a city dweller who grows potatoes in the country, you can easily use a balcony or loggia to store it, or a mini-storage (pantry) under the window.
Store potatoes on a glazed loggia only in insulated (foam, sawdust) double wooden boxes, painted or upholstered with linoleum in order to protect against excess moisture. Moreover, the cover must also be double and insulated.
But if your balcony is not insulated, then you will need to make a thermobox, for example, according to the following scheme:
Better yet, watch a video about the experience of creating such a homemade vegetable storage.
This is the only way you can keep potatoes at home in winter, even in the most severe frosts.
One of the oldest ways to store potatoes until spring is by burying the tubers in the ground. However, the specific preservation technology can vary quite a bit.
Someone builds overhead piles, for example, according to the following scheme:
Others dig a fairly deep hole 1-2 meters (and depending on the degree of freezing of the soil in your region and the occurrence of groundwater), then lay out the potato tubers and cover them with a 15-20 centimeter layer of dry sand, and then with ordinary earth. Additionally, it is good to cover the underground storage with straw from above.
It often happens that you seem to have harvested the crop on time and correctly, prepared it and put it in the cellar or on the balcony for storage, but for some reason, part of the crop deteriorated.
To prevent this from happening next time, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with possible mistakes in advance. At least this way you don't have to learn the hard way about losing part of the harvest.
So, the most common mistakes and blunders that can be made in the process of laying potatoes for winter storage:
Not all varieties are suitable for long-term storage. Early varieties are intended solely for human consumption or for a short time in the cellar (1-2 months). Whatever conditions you create, still early ripe potatoes will begin to sprout, and at the same time lose their taste.
In this way,
- for storage, you should choose only late and mid-late varieties, maximum mid-season.
- Extra early, early and medium early - for consumption only.
When storing potatoes, you should be very careful about the process of sorting and sizing them. A few diseased tubers are enough to infect the entire crop. It must be remembered that only healthy potatoes can lie all winter.
- Tubers with minor damage (any slight scratches or cuts obtained during digging and sorting) must be stored (albeit for a short time, they must be consumed first),
- but they must lie apart, separate from wholes.
Often, inexperienced growers put all the vegetables in the same boxes to save storage space, but this should not be done in the case of potatoes.
You can and even need to store potatoes only with beetsto be laid on top of the tubers. Such a neighborhood will benefit both vegetables, since the beets will take in all the excess moisture, thereby protecting the potatoes from decay.
By the way! Read about ways to store beets for a long time. in this article.
Violation of the requirements for the premises (its temperature, humidity (ventilation) and illumination) will result in damage to the crop.
Advice! If you have problems with air circulation (the most common problem), at least try to ventilate the room in a timely manner.
If these conditions are not difficult to comply with in the cellar or in the basement, then storing the crop in an apartment - on a balcony or on a loggia, it will be much more difficult to do this. Therefore, if you decide to store potatoes without a cellar, then you should adhere to all recommendations for home storage.
If you do not want to come one day and find that half of the potatoes have rotted, then periodically you need to carefully examine and sort out the tubers, rejecting the spoiled ones and those that lay next to them (perhaps the disease has simply not yet manifested itself on them).
Note! Even though it looks like everything is in order in appearance, if an unpleasant smell (rotten aroma) emanates from the potatoes or small flies (fruit flies) fly around, these are clear signs that a rotting tuber is hidden somewhere, and it you need to quickly find and remove from storage.
We hope that now you have a clear understanding that sorting and preparing tubers, processing them before laying, as well as observing optimal storage conditions for harvested vegetables will help to improve the quality of stored potatoes.
This is how we got used to: the potatoes were put in boxes for storage, the beets, carrots, onions and garlic were also distributed in separate boxes. And if there is no place, what to do? Can't potatoes be stored with other vegetables?
Potatoes and other vegetables
It is possible, but not with everyone. The potatoes are just ideal when stored with beets, which are laid on top of the tubers. And they do this not only in order to save space. Beets perfectly absorb excess moisture, which is only good for them, thereby protecting the potato tubers from rotting.
It is required to consider how to properly store potatoes in the cellar. The most important condition for storing potatoes is the absence of high humidity. It is also necessary that there is no dampness on the floor and walls. If there are earthen walls in the cellar, storage boxes must be installed on pallets at some distance from the walls, so that there is an air gap on all sides. The distance between the drawers should be approximately 5 cm.
Before you save the potatoes from rotting, you need to prepare the boxes themselves. They should have lattice walls so that air can circulate freely between the tubers. Often potatoes are stored along with beets. Laying a layer of beets on top of the potatoes will absorb excess moisture and protect the tubers. This method simultaneously protects the beets from drying out.
Many owners complain that the room is dry, but the potatoes get damp and for some reason begin to rot. The air humidity regime is of great importance. If it is raining and damp outside, the air will be humid. During rain, it is necessary to protect the cellar from the ingress of air from the outside or dry the room when it becomes dry outside.
If the humidity becomes very high and there is a risk of losing the entire crop, you need to put a box with sawdust or coarse salt in the cellar. They will absorb excess moisture. If necessary, the box can be dried several times outside and returned to the room.
During storage, vegetables constantly produce carbon dioxide, and rotten foods emit methane. In addition, swamp gas can flow through the walls of the underground room in regions with swampy soil. High gas content can be dangerous to the health of a person who goes down into the cellar. Therefore, it is also not recommended to completely restrict air access. It is necessary to provide ventilation and periodically ventilate the cellar. To prevent rodents from entering the room through the ventilation, the holes are closed with a fine mesh.
It is interesting to know at what temperature to store potatoes. The temperature at the storage location should not drop to 0 ° C or below. At this temperature, the potatoes will freeze, become sweet and unsuitable for human consumption as the starch is converted to sugar. If the temperature is too high, it will cause rotting processes. Therefore, the optimal storage temperature for potatoes in the cellar is + 2 ... + 4 ° С. Subject to all conditions, tubers can be stored for 8-10 months.
Any gardener wants to get a good harvest of potatoes that will be stored for a long time. And for this it is necessary that the tubers are fully ripe, gain the necessary weight and accumulate useful substances.
In the middle lane, potatoes are usually harvested from late August to early September. But these terms are very variable, since the ripening period of potato tubers largely depends on the timing of planting, varieties, weather conditions, and also the characteristics of care.
What should you focus on then? The appearance of the tops. This is the most obvious sign that will tell if the potatoes are ready for harvesting or not. If the tops begin to die off and dry, the tubers are ripe. It is permissible to dig up potatoes within 3 weeks after the aerial part wilts. You should not overexpose the crop in the soil, otherwise it will be poorly stored.
It depends on the soil on which it grows. If the soil is loose, then just pull the tops, and the tubers will appear on the surface. All that remains is to collect them and use a shovel or pitchfork to check if the remaining potatoes are lost deeper in the ground.
On dense ground, the bushes should be dug in from the side. This can be done with a pitchfork or a shovel. Each tool has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is easier to dig out a whole "nest" of tubers with a pitchfork without damaging the crop. But if the pitchforks pierce the potatoes, then such specimens will not be stored for a long time. Using a shovel increases the risk of damage to the tubers. However, cuts from a shovel in the air quickly wind up, and such a potato can lie in the cellar for some time.
In order to keep white cabbage fresh for as long as possible, it is not necessary to look for a special room for it. The storage can be organized in the apartment.
Each head of cabbage is tightly wrapped with cling film and placed in the vegetable compartment, setting the minimum temperature in it. The vegetables are checked regularly, replacing the film as soon as condensation has formed.
Instead of plastic wrap, you can use parchment paper
If you have a large enough balcony, you can install a wooden box insulated with foam plastic there, and store cabbage in it, also having previously wrapped each head of cabbage with foil or paper.
In winter, do not forget to regularly look into the store and discard all heads of cabbage with obvious signs of damage. Even if you create the right conditions for the cabbage, it can get sick during storage.