Storing Your Potatoes for the Winter.


Proper storage of potatoes for the winter actually starts before the harvest.    Slowly decrease the water you are giving you potato plants a couple of weeks prior to harvest, this will help toughen the skins.  When all the vines have died back and become dry and brown you can begin harvest.   After you have dug them up clean them well and allow them to dry.   You will need to allow them to further toughen before putting them in the area you have chosed to store them.   This is achieved by putting them in an area with moderate temperature,but high humidity for approximately 10 days to 2 weeks.  You can put them in cardboard boxes and your room temp should be around 65 Degrees F.  with a humidity around 95 percent.

When this length of time has been achieved, you can check your potatoes and remove any than have open areas,green ends or any spots that appear to be soft.  You can now put them in the long term storage area you have chosen.   This area must meet certain criteria to have successful outcomes for you potatoes.   The are must be cool anywhere from 35-4o Degrees Farenheit.   An area such as a basement or garage area work will for this storage.  The areas must be unheated, but not so cold that the potatoes will freeze.   The length of time you will be able to store these potatoes will depend on the type of potato you have chosed to plant.    Thinner skinned potatoes should be used first and thicker skinned potatoes such as red potatoes or other white skinned or yellow skinned types will last well into winter.   The tough skinned russets will last best.    If you temperatures are above the recommended temps.  they will not last as long.    Potatoes in correct storage temps and humidities can last up to 8 months in storage with higher temps resulting in potatoes spoiling quicker.

This is frequently published information and can be found on many of the garden sites on the internet.  This information was taken from an article written by:

Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

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