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Storing Potatoes Long Term – Save Your Potato Harvest. Photo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EhVPTPVv6U
Growing homegrown potatoes is a wonderful experience. There’s nothing quite like digging up a handful of farm-fresh spuds whenever the craving arises. While potatoes can be harvested when the need arises, at some point you’ll have to harvest the entire crop before it freezes in the ground. At this point, you will need to learn techniques for storing potatoes long term.
When you harvest more potatoes than you can devour, you need to learn how to keep them fresh and usable for the long-term—right through winter and into late spring. This not only saves you from the disappointment of discovering shriveled, moldy spuds — but it also helps reduce food wastage.
In this YouTube video, Tony O’Neil from UK Here we Grow shares some useful tips on how to save your potato harvest.
STEP 1: Harvesting
Storing potatoes long term starts when digging up the tubers. The general rule of thumb is to avoid breaking the potatoes’ skin by lifting the soil as carefully as possible. Damaged potatoes are doomed to rot in storage — so take your time.
To minimize the risk of damage, you can grow your potatoes in a container—making retrieval/harvest significantly easier, faster, and safer.
STEP 2: Sorting the Best Potatoes for Storage
Some potatoes are more suited for storage than others. Look for big spuds with little-to-no blemishes or puncture marks. It’s also advisable to go for thick-skinned varieties that are hardy. Discard damaged ones or perhaps put them to one side for immediate use, saving all the perfect ones for the long term store. Please note that the skin of freshly harvested potatoes is very fragile and any rubbing motion or impact could damage it.
STEP 3: Curing the Fresh Potatoes
Curing is a process that toughens the skin of tubers. It involves placing the harvest in the dark for 3-5 days. While it might be tempting to wash off the dirt immediately after you dig up your potatoes, refrain from this temptation. They store best when they’re dirty and dry.
STEP 4: Storing the Cured Potatoes
There are multiple ways to store potatoes depending on the size of the harvest and the available resources. This includes using a Hessian sack, cardboard box, wooden crate, or even containers. To save them for longer, you can create alternating layers of hay and potatoes. Just ensure there’s some airflow.
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Shipping containers are all the rage - but if you are thinking about buying one, you MUST watch this video first:
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