How to make sure that your potatoes last until the spring
Autumn is already here and winter just around the corner. Did you store enough potatoes to last through the winter? You do not do that and prefer buying potatoes in supermarkets? Well, that’s a pity. Using your own potatoes or potatoes from smaller farmers is definitely worth it. You will certainly appreciate and enjoy better taste, better quality and healthier eating. Unfortunately, some potatoes imported from abroad taste horribly and the quality is sometimes very low. So, if you can store your own potatoes how can you do it properly and how can you avoid most common mistakes? Read on and you should find out.
Potatoes hate apples
Some people store potatoes with apples and do not think twice of it. But this coexistence is not ideal as both potatoes and apples may suffer. You see, apples produce ethylene which promotes germination so your potatoes start germinate quicker than you need. On the other hand, apples stored with potatoes begin to taste like potatoes sometimes, and that is not what you want either. So avoid storing apples and potatoes together.
Potatoes need rest
It would be very difficult to find a person who does not need a rest. Well, you may not believe it, but potatoes need rest too. They actually need to sleep and they need to breathe when they sleep. Therefore, store them in perforated plastic or wooden crates placed on pallets or other boxes. Some people line their crates with newspaper to prevent dirt from falling on the floor but do not over do it because it may reduce the much-needed ventilation. Ventilate the storage room regularly to get rid of excessive humidity. And finally, do not store potatoes in bags because bags prevent proper breathing too.
The variety you grow is not important
In terms of potato shelf life the variety of potato you grow is not that important. Farmers tend to select varieties that last a long time.Try the taste first and then choose the variety that tastes best to you. Farmer prices tend to be lower than thouse in supermarkets. This year the regular price of potatoes was around 0.50 euros per kilogram.
Potatoes hate light
Stored sleeping potatoes need darkness. The same goes for humans. You will not sleep well if there is too much light in your bedroom, right? If you can, cover windows in your basement. If you store potatoes in a garage, make sure you do not leave the door open at all times. If you work in your garage and keep the door open, cover the potatoes with a black sheet. If there is too much light the germination process will start. And the temperature? Keep it between 4 – 6 degrees Celsius but you should not have any problem if you keep the temperature around 10 °C, but keep in mind the higher the temperature, the faster the germination process. At the same time, make sure the temperature does not fall below freezing point. Once your potatoes go through freezing temperatures you cannot save them.
Two final tips
You may slow down the germination processes if you put charcoal underneath your potatoes. A fun fact. In the old days people used a hole in the ground called krecht to store potatoes. Krecht is still an excellent choice for potato storage.
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.