It is believed that the storage of vegetables requires a special temperature and humidity. However, many gardeners manage to save the crop until the middle of spring. How do they do it?
Potatoes are a fastidious product, and especially its “character” manifests itself during storage. Where not only store potatoes! In the basement at the cottage, at home on the balcony, in a box in the corridor of a high-rise building. Tubers are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations - when it drops, they freeze, and when they rise, they begin to rot and germinate. And they can dry out and go green. To avoid this, you need to create almost perfect conditions for potatoes. For example, one of the following ways.
The in-depth storage is good because both in winter and in summer it maintains a constant temperature of about 4-6 ° C.
Storing potatoes in the cellar will require preparatory measures:
- each year before laying the crop, 2 times with an interval of 7-10 days, treat the room with a mixture of salt (150 g), hydrated lime (2 kg), copper sulphate (1 kg) and water (10 l);
- ventilate the basement, clean the system if necessary, or replace it;
- Be sure to air the room.
Before storing potatoes for storage, it is necessary to sort and reject diseased and damaged tubers. They can become a source of infection, and you risk losing the harvest. After that you should carefully dry the tubers in the fresh air in direct sunlight. This should be done in order to prevent the processes of decay.
Putting potatoes in the cellar for storage should not be in bags, but in wooden boxes with small cuts 4-6 cm wide for free air circulation. Dry the container and treat with potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate). You can simply strew the floor with sawdust or lay a bar and boards. Potatoes are covered with a layer not higher than 1.5 m and for reliability they are covered with sacking.
The temperature in the cellar should be about 2-4 ° C, and the humidity of the air - 70-85%. There should be no sources of light in the storage, otherwise solanine will begin to be produced in potatoes, and root crops cannot be eaten.
As a child I was always interested in what was hidden in massive wooden boxes in the corridor, closed on heavy barn locks. As it turned out, they also kept the potatoes until spring. What are the advantages of this method:
- at the entrance (especially an apartment building) is always cooler than in an apartment, but warmer than on the street. Often the temperature reaches 4-6 ° C ideal for potatoes;
- potatoes are always at hand;
- It does not require special care during storage.
In Soviet times, the potatoes were kept in this way, although it attracted the lovers of Darmischina
However, this method has several disadvantages:
- the temperature in the entrance and the corridor constantly "jumps", which can lead to drying, rotting and deterioration of potatoes;
- the method is not suitable for long-term storage of tubers, although, of course, much depends on the type and timing of harvesting. Immediately after digging, a state of physiological dormancy occurs in the potato. During this period (from 40 to 100 days), the tubers do not germinate even at a temperature of 18-20 ° C. However, by the end of February - the beginning of March, in any case they begin to sprout;
- conflicts with neighbors are possible due to the massive box and the smell of the vegetable base in the corridor, as well as the increased interest of some people in other people's reserves.
A wooden box on the balcony is a great place to store your second bread. Its main difference from the "cellar" option is that the "balcony" box must be hammered "board to board", practically without cracks and additionally insulated, for example, with an old blanket or foam, if the balcony is not glazed. If the glazing is complete and reliable, then the capacity can be additionally not insulated.
Advantages of the method:
- storage temperature remains relatively constant throughout the winter;
- you can monitor the condition of the tubers and regulate the temperature and humidity;
- with such storage, potatoes can lie almost until the middle of spring.
Disadvantages of storing potatoes on the balcony:
- due to a sharp night cooling, tubers can freeze, and the processes of decay will go faster. If the balcony is too warm, the potatoes will start to dry and lose their original taste;
- without ventilation, tubers can also rot;
- you need to make sure that the potatoes do not get light, and maintain a humidity level of about 40-50%.
Intended for wintering potatoes are harvested in dry and warm weather and dried in the fresh air. Damaged tubers should be eaten immediately (if the damage is not too strong). Storage boxes are disinfected and treated with bleach (400 g per 10 liters of water) or copper sulphate (100 g per 10 liters of water). Straw can be used as an additional layer - it will prevent the sprouting of potatoes during balcony storage.
Seasoned gardeners also recommend pouring the tubers with chalk, onion peel or ash, put mint leaves, bags of wormwood or elderberry in a box. This will help reduce the level of moisture in the box.
It would seem that it can be more natural and easier than storing potatoes in the refrigerator. After all, this method has a number of advantages:
- can stably, throughout the winter, maintain an optimum temperature (3-5 ° C);
- preliminary preparation and disinfection of storage is not required.
When stored in the refrigerator, the potato gets a sweet taste
Why it is not recommended to store potatoes in the refrigerator:
- you can put only a few kilograms of potatoes in it;
- it is unclear how to store potatoes. Plastic and plastic packaging does not allow potatoes to "breathe", garbage is poured out through mesh bags, and paper bags are the best (but not very reliable) option;
- it is not recommended to keep potatoes in the refrigerator for a long time - starch begins to turn into sugar, which affects the taste, texture and use of potatoes for the body.
This method is more suitable for small stocks of tubers, which can lie for a maximum of 7-10 days.
This is perhaps one of the most unreliable ways to store potatoes. In a heated room in winter the temperature reaches 20-25 ° C, which is equivalent to the conditions of the tropics for potato tubers. Of course, they try to place him in the closet, in the closet in the hallway, under the sink in the kitchen, in the toilet or near the balcony door. However, it’s not possible to keep potatoes in such conditions for a long time - a maximum of 10-14 days. Then begin the process of decay or drying.
Remember that the potatoes should not fall light, otherwise the tubers will begin to turn green and become hazardous to health.
The storage time depends on the potato variety. Of course, "for the winter" should be laid medium and late-ripened potatoes. The following varieties have good keeping quality:
- Gingerbread Man;
- Yavir and etc.
The duration of storage of potatoes depends on many factors. Not always a suitable variety or a stable low temperature are a guarantee that the potatoes in the house will lie until mid-spring. Therefore, you can try to store some of the potatoes, say, on the balcony, and some - in the cellar. In this case, the probability of preserving the harvest will increase significantly.