My grandparents had a root cellar dug into a side hill on their farm. It was used for storing potatoes and other garden crops.
Since potatoes do not always freeze, dry or can well, storing them whole is often the best plan.
Before you store the potatoes, look them over and use any bruised, cut or damaged potatoes first.
Few of us have root cellars so what we need to find is a place that provides the conditions needed for storing potatoes long term.
Those storage conditions include:
Though potatoes are best stored at a cool temperature, they should not be refrigerated. In cold temperatures potato starch converts to sugar and gives potatoes an uncharacteristic sweet taste. This sugar will caramelize during cooking and produce brown potatoes with an off flavor.
On the other hand, if potatoes are stored at temperatures that are too high, they will soften and sprout. Potatoes can safely be stored for a week or two at room temperature (65 to 70 degrees) with good results.
After harvesting your potatoes, place them in the sun for two or three hours to dry. Brush off excess soil however do not wash them until you are ready to use since dampness can cause decay.
Tips For Storing Potatoes:
Note: Conditions at harvest, vigor of the plant during the growing season and how fast the potato crop was cooled down in the fall can greatly affect how long a potato will store without sprouting problems.
A Synopsis of Thoughts About Storing Potatoes
Keep small amounts of potatoes in burlap bags, brown paper bags, or perforated plastic bags. Check them from time to time and remove any that have sprouted, softened, or shriveled. What they say about a bad apple is also true of a bad potato: one bad one can spoil the rest!The Complete Book of Potatoes: What Every Grower and Gardener Needs to Know
Fun With Potatoes - Mr. Potato Head
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