Potato winter storage

I thought I’d leave a quick note on how I store my potatoes to last through the winter months. We always finish them off before the end of winter, but it’s a real bummer to go through your potato bin only to find soft, diseased and ruined potatoes. My method is like everything else I try to do with gardening-quick and simple with a minimum of work. After pulling potatoes from the ground, try to store them at room temperature for 10 days or so to let the skins dry out enough to prevent moisture loss. Your storage area should be protected from light as much as possible or they will develop solanine. You’ll know this by the green coloring on the surface of the potatoes. If you see this be sure to throw the effected potatoes away as they can cause illness. If you’re lucky enough to have a root cellar you can store your potatoes in any crate, bin, or open box not exposed to sun. If not, store potatoes in a cool, dry room where the temperature doesn’t get below 35 degrees. Storing potatoes in cooler temperatures than this increases their sugar and decreases in starch which take away from their storage and cooking qualities. All I use to store my potatoes are a large enough bin to hold them all and shredded paper. I start with paper on the bottom, than add a layer of potatoes, then another layer of shredded paper, then potatoes, etc. I’ll do this until I reach the top of my container and all the potatoes are covered. This works great because they are protected from any sunlight and any excess moisture is absorbed by the shredded paper. I then keep them in our garage. Whenever we need potatoes, it’s an easy thing to go out, dig through the paper, and gather your potatoes. In the square foot garden system, I’ve been able to expect 5 pounds of potatoes per square. Growing 8 squares gives us 40 pounds of them to last-well, as long as we can get them to last. In my next post, I’ll be taking some time to talk about something that I’m getting a lot of mail about-preparing the soil in fall for the spring gardens. It’s what I’ve done for years and it’s worked perfectly. Stayed tuned.

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