Prepare your potato tubers for winter storage if you planted more potatoes than you can eat in a one month time period. Garden grown potatoes can be easily stored for 3 to 6 months when properly harvested and cured. It is important to inspect the potatoes at the time of storage and periodically through the winter months to prevent rotting or damage. Provide separate storage locations for each vegetable or fruit that will be stored during the winter months.
Things You'll Need
- Potato brush
- Well ventilated container
Reduce the amount of water applied to potato plants after flowering is completed to toughen them prior to harvest. Allow the vines to die back completely before digging for fall storage.
Dig potatoes with a pitchfork and shovel, being careful to not puncture or damage the tubers.
Clean the potatoes by brushing off soil. Wash the potato with water only if the soil is thickly caked onto the potato.
Cure dug potatoes for 10 days by placing them in a location that is 65 degrees F with humidity of 85 to 95 percent.
Sort through potatoes and remove damaged or diseased tubers as these will not store well. Discard all diseased or rotted potatoes.
Place all quality potatoes in a well ventilated container and place in a cold, dark location with moderate humidity. A room that is approximately 40 to 45 degrees F and dark will provide the best results. Make sure the location provides ventilation for the tubers.
Pour dry rice or sand around the potatoes to assist with keeping the moisture away from the potato tubers.
Monitor the potatoes through the storage period and remove any that begin to turn green or become rotted.
Tips & Warnings
- Choose a potato variety that keeps well. White and yellow potato varieties with thick skins will store for longer periods than red potatoes or other thin skin varieties.
- Save pitchfork or shovel damaged potatoes and eat within one month of harvesting.
- Do not store potatoes next to fruit as the fruit will promote tuber sprouting.
- Do not store potatoes in plastic bags as they retain moisture which induces rotting.
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