How to store potatoes properly


If you have a properly prepared cellar for fruit and vegetable storage, then you have already done the hardest part, well the harvest may also be laborious. Storing potatoes is not that difficult but you need to follow few basic requirements. Potatoes release moisture during storage, so it is necessary to ventilate the cellar from time to time. Preferably, when it is not freezing or raining outside. Proper ventilation will prevent rotting and various diseases spreading.

Late varieties are best for storage

If you only grow potatoes for an immediate use, then you should choose from early and very early varieties. Naturally. They contain less starch and lose water quickly, so they are not suitable for long-term storage. Semi-early and semi-late varieties last longer and the latest varieties last the longest.


Photo: Pixabay

Give them time to “heal”

When you finished the harvest, let potatoes “rest” for two to three weeks at a relatively high temperature, around 15 °C. They need this time to “get ready”. The skin will harden nicely during this period making potatoes more resistant. After that, you may store them in a prepared and cleaned cellar or dark rooms at a temperature ranging from 4 to 6 °C. The temperature should never drop below 0°C.

Potatoes need dark environment to last

If you have a window in your basement, cover it. If you cannot keep potatoes in a dark cellar, buy a breathable dark fabric and cover them to extend the shelf life as much as possible.

Essential oils can extend shelf life

Essential oils are a great way to prevent your potatoes from various diseases while ensuring that they will germinate. These properties of essential oils are used in the production of special potato storage bags, i.e. bags which contain essential oils inserts to extend the life of potatoes . Many herbs and spices produce essential oils naturally. Cumin essential oils are very effective for example.

Do not store with apples

Never store potatoes near apples. As apples ripen, they produce ethylene, a gas that speeds up potato germination. Apples also pick up potato taste a bit which is not good . Never store damaged potatoes or any fruits or vegetables for that matter because damaged potato tend to get mould and diseases easier – and of course could contaminate other potatoes.

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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