Studying how you can correctly retailer your potatoes as soon as they’ve been dug from the backyard is a crucial a part of your potato rising season.
Potatoes needs to be saved in a cool darkish room with good air flow. The potatoes needs to be harvested dry or dried earlier than getting into the store- this can assist to forestall rot and illness and extend the lifetime of the potato.
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How one can develop potatoes
If you want extra details about rising your individual potatoes, please learn my article rising your individual potatoes. This covers all the things it’s essential to know from planting, getting ready seed, rising, harvesting and storage and extra about this nice vegetable.
How one can retailer potatoes from the backyard
Like most root greens, potatoes can final a number of months if they’re saved correctly. After months of labor planting, and caring on your potato crop, you’ll wish to take advantage of your harvest.
Whereas potatoes might be harvested as you want them, the complete crop will should be harvested earlier than the primary freeze of the yr. So, how are you going to hold them contemporary and usable? Storing backyard potatoes is straightforward so long as you could have sufficient area and a cool, dry location away from daylight.
Storing new potatoes
These small, spherical delicacies are a deal with that’s onerous to cross up. Once you assume you’ll have early potatoes which are giant sufficient to reap, merely attain into the early hills, feeling for the best-sized tubers. For those who ease them out with out damaging the plant, the opposite tubers will proceed to develop.
If the soil could be very moist, and it’s troublesome to hunt for the brand new potatoes, it’s alright to dig up the complete plant, harvest the newborn potatoes earlier than returning the plant to the soil. However work rapidly, as freshly dug potatoes shouldn’t keep within the solar very lengthy. Extra on that later. As soon as again within the hill, the potato plant ought to produce a number of extra tubers.
With their skinny skins and excessive moisture content material, new potatoes received’t hold in addition to extra mature potatoes. They are often saved in a paper bag or loosely wrapped plastic within the fridge for a couple of days. Don’t wash new potatoes earlier than storing them; the grime clinging to the skins helps to maintain them contemporary, and water pooling on the pores and skin can pace up bruising or softening.
Storing maincrop potatoes
In Northern areas, it is best to plant to reap the principle storage crop in September, when the times are getting cool and the primary frost isn’t far off; the plant tops will likely be dying and sending the final of the vines’ vitality underground to the tubers.
Earlier than the Harvest
In an effort to maximize the ‘shelf life’ of your crop, it’s essential to plan forward; there are a couple of essential steps that you may take earlier than harvesting that can lengthen the storage interval of your potatoes.
First, restrict the water you give your crops for 2-3 weeks earlier than the deliberate harvest date; this can toughen the potato skins, defending them. You also needs to wait till the vines have utterly died earlier than harvesting the tubers so as to make sure the maturity of the potatoes; the vines will flip yellow and speckled, then dry up and switch brown.
For those who’ll be storing many of the crop, it’s finest to attend for the perfect climate situations for harvesting it. Select a heat, dry day after a interval of little or no rain. Cloudy days are even higher, since an excessive amount of mild can flip newly dug potatoes inexperienced and alter their taste.
If digging your potatoes manually use a 5- or 6-pronged digging fork or a pointed shovel to unearth the tubers. Dig in gently however deeply sufficient to lift the plant out of the hill whereas avoiding the potatoes. Bumps and bruises on the tubers will lower their storage high quality and should result in an infection getting into the tuber resulting in rot.
After the harvest
The crop might be left open air to dry; though they need to be lined from daylight. Many of the soil caught on them ought to drop off throughout this time. Whereas some growers use mushy brushes to softly take away clumps of grime, it’s not strictly crucial. Don’t wash the potatoes as it will likely be actually onerous to get them utterly dry afterward.
Storing moist potatoes can result in fungal infestations or rot. After the potatoes have dried within the open, they need to be saved at midnight; don’t go away them in burlap baggage or some other container which might permit mild to penetrate. That might begin them greening- then they are going to be inedible and can should be dumped.
The curing course of can additional toughen up the pores and skin of the tubers and extend their shelf life. Curing permits any slight cuts or bruises on the potatoes to heal quickly.
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After cleansing off the unfastened soil, bundle the crop in a cardboard field or open paper baggage. Place the potatoes in a darkened space with excessive humidity however reasonable temperatures for ten days.
After curing the potatoes, examine them for any harm, eradicating these with mushy spots, inexperienced ends, or open cuts.
As a result of the potatoes are nonetheless carrying on their regular life course of and have to breathe in storage the crop will hold finest if positioned in a well-ventilated container and saved in a dry location with good air circulation away from daylight. Potatoes will hold properly in bins with slatted sides and bottoms, however don’t pile them any larger than 90 cm tall.
Cool temperatures are finest, although if the tubers are saved in a fridge that’s too cool, it will probably improve the sweetness of the potatoes and trigger them to brown fairly rapidly once they’re fried. An unheated basement or storage could be a sensible choice, however don’t retailer the tubers in an space that’s more likely to freeze, as they’ll flip to rotting mush once they thaw.
The crop can final for six to eight months if saved correctly. If storing backyard potatoes at temperatures over 4°C, they could solely final three to 4 months. And whereas crimson potatoes don’t final so long as the white or yellow-skinned varieties, a thick-skinned russet will final the longest. For those who develop quite a lot of potatoes, use the thinner-skinned tubers first.
A few caveats
Sometimes, potatoes flip “candy” throughout storage; potatoes convert a certain quantity of starch to sugar, which is used up within the “respiration” course of and if the method slows down – reminiscent of in a cool root cellar – the tuber received’t use all of the sugar it has produced, giving the potato a candy style if it’s taken immediately from storage and cooked.
In case your potatoes sweeten, you possibly can convey a small provide out of storage and hold them in a hotter spot for a couple of week, throughout which era the additional sugar will revert to starch — a course of specialists name “reconditioning”.
As talked about above, potatoes which are uncovered to daylight could begin to flip inexperienced. It is a signal that solanine, a poisonous substance, is creating; it will probably occur if the potatoes aren’t totally lined by the soil whereas they’re rising, or if left within the solar for too lengthy whereas harvesting, or even when they’re not saved in full darkness. Even store-bought potatoes will flip inexperienced in they aren’t saved in a darkish place.
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