The best crops to grow are the ones that are not only generously abundant but also stored for a very long time. Potatoes are definitely at the top of that list. Highly prolific, easy to grow, and certainly long-lasting. But this highly prolific crop often produces more than we can possibly eat right away, so we turn to storage. So in this article, we’ll cover all the things you should and shouldn’t do in order to store your potatoes for a long period after harvest.
The first thing we need to realize is that there are two kinds of potatoes that you can harvest no matter what variety you’re growing and only one of those kinds is suitable for long-term storage.
New or baby potatoes are great and no doubt tasty. But when we’re talking about long-term storage they’re not the potatoes we want.
Mature or storage potatoes are the ones that are harvested as the foliage of the plant dies down at the end of its life cycle. This ensures a mature spud that’s not only ready for harvest but also for storage.
Well almost, much like our garlic, storage potatoes before they can be stored must first be cured.
Curing potatoes first before they can be stored
This is done by drying those potatoes in moderate temperatures with relatively high humidity.
We do this to toughen up that skin for maximum longevity. Two weeks is plenty and your potatoes are finally ready to store.
Now is when you want to brush off any of that loose soil that’s still on the potatoes but don’t wash them. In fact, that’s one of three things that you can’t do when you’re storing potatoes.
Storing potato don’ts!
1. Don’t Wash them
Never wash potatoes that are going to be stored. Only wash potatoes immediately prior to cooking/eating.
2. Don’t store in air-tight bags
Never store in air-tight bags or containers. Paper bags or open boxes are best.
3. Keep them away from the light
Keep cool and keep out of the light. It’s the heat and light that cause potatoes to sprout after they’re cured and we obviously don’t want that.
Okay finally on to the storage.
Steps to store your potatoes after harvest
- Choose a dry cool location (38-50F or 3-10C ) above freezing and relatively dark.
- Keep the potatoes single file so that they can breathe and try not to stack them. Airflow is a good thing for storage.
- In those conditions, they’ll keep for up to four months.
Amazing super spuds. What could be better than potatoes from your own garden? Thanks for reading guys.
FAQs on how to store potatoes after harvest
How long can you store potatoes after harvesting?
When kept in cool conditions, the tubers can last for six to eight months. Garden potatoes only endure three to four months when kept at temperatures over 40F (4C). The potatoes may also sprout after they shrivel.
Should potatoes be washed before storing?
Potatoes shouldn’t be washed before being stored. Because washing them introduces moisture to them, which in turn encourages the growth of fungus and germs, they will actually survive much longer if you store the potatoes unwashed after harvest.
What to do with potatoes after you harvest them?
Potatoes need to be cured after being harvested. For about two weeks, allow them to sit in a 45 to 60-degree Fahrenheit range. This will give the skin enough time to harden and will allow small wounds to heal. Brush the soil off the potatoes after they have been dug.
How do you store potatoes long-term?
Even if you shouldn’t store potatoes in the refrigerator, they will last the longest if they are kept in a cool, dark environment with 90–95% humidity and a chilly temperature of approximately 50°F, similar to a root cellar with controlled temperature and humidity.
What is the best container to store potatoes and onions?
Use a storage container with good ventilation, such as a crate, a cardboard box with holes punched in it, or any container that will permit any extra moisture to evaporate. To keep the light out and stop your potatoes from spouting, keep the container covered.
Do potato bins need ventilation?
If there is no ventilation, the potatoes will rot and die.
Can you store potatoes in a wicker basket?
Root vegetables should often be kept at room temperature in wire mesh or natural fiber baskets.
Can you store potatoes in a wooden box?
You can keep potatoes readily available and fresh all year long by making a wooden potato storage container at home.