Many housewives faced such a problem as buying frozen potatoes. It is impossible neither to cook, nor to fry, because, getting into a warm room, it starts to “swim”? becomes watery, sweet and tasteless. The bottom line: money thrown into the wind and a spoiled mood.
Therefore, it is not for nothing that potatoes are most often stored for storage. And not necessarily to acquire a cellar or basement. Potatoes are well kept in the room. The main thing is to meet all the necessary conditions for this.
Preparation of premises for storage of potatoes
In order for the potatoes to remain until the spring without losses, they start preparing not from harvesting or buying at the market, but from preparing the premises.
From the cellar or cellar you need to remove the food reserves of the past year, take out all the garbage. Then disinfect. To do this, you can use:
- 40% formalin solution. On 1 square meter of the room usually 30-40 ml of this substance are enough;
- bleach. The mixture is prepared from 40 g of lime to 1 liter of water. She insists during the day, then the liquid without ground is drained and used for spraying the room.
- 2% caustic soda solution (200 g of soda is diluted in 10 liters of water).
Disinfection is carried out with the doors and windows closed (if they exist) and do not open the room during the day. If for this purpose bleach is used, the treatment is carried out two months before the potato is loaded, since it absorbs the smell of this substance strongly.
After disinfection, the walls are whitewashed, then the room is well dried and ventilated.
Preparing potatoes for storage
Healthy, well-ripened tubers are selected for storage. If the potatoes are dug out on their own, their maturation is determined by the natural drying of the leafy tops. To speed up this process, a week before harvesting, the above-ground part of the plant is mowed.
Potatoes need to dig until frost, otherwise supercooled tubers quickly deteriorate. You also need to finish cleaning before the onset of rainy weather.
Dug potatoes must be dried for 2-4 hours. If weather conditions allow, this is done in the open air, in other cases - under a shed or indoors.
Before laying in the cellar potatoes sorted. Only healthy tubers without obvious mechanical damage are sent to a permanent storage place. Potatoes of different sizes should be stored separately. Large and medium-sized potatoes are used for food, tubers of smaller size - for seeds.
The rest of the potatoes (badly damaged, sliced) are sent to livestock feed, sick tubers are thrown away.
It is also advisable to store different varieties of potatoes separately, since their shelf life and storage capacity may differ.
The best stored varieties of potatoes:
- Late - Table, Razvaristy, Petrovsky, Start, Voltman, Belarusian starchy, Lorch;
- Medium - Friendly, Dawn, Willow, Flame, Change, Favorite, Dream, Polessky Pink, Ivushka;
- Early - Epron, Belarusian Early, Stepniak, Oktyabryonok.
During sorting, it is necessary to carefully handle the tubers so as not to cause mechanical damage.
Storage conditions of potatoes in the cellar or basement
Some people think that potatoes are stored under the same conditions throughout the autumn-winter period and in the spring. In fact, the temperature in the room should be adjusted depending on the time of year.
Initial storage period
At the very beginning of storage, the temperature in the cellar should be 17-18 °, and the humidity of the air - 85-95%. During this period, minor mechanical damage is healed. Healthy potatoes heal in about 10 days.
If the potatoes were dug ahead of time, but sent for storage, then the high temperature can provoke the development of diseases, and then the harvest may disappear. In this case, the air temperature in the cellar should be no higher than 13 °.
Main storage period
After a kind of quarantine in the cellar, they set a lower temperature, gradually lowering it to 3-5 °. Humidity left in the range of 85-90%.
Such conditions for the storage of potatoes are the most optimal, since at high temperatures the tubers start to deteriorate and germinate, and at 0-1 ° they acquire a sweet aftertaste. If the cellar is very cold during frosts, it must be warmed outside, and the potatoes covered with bags or other warm cloth.
By the way, in order to return the previous taste to potatoes, it is recommended to move it to a room with a temperature of about 20 ° and leave it for several days.
Spring storage period
In the spring, when the outside air rises, the potato begins to germinate. During this period, it is necessary to pick potatoes more often in order to notice the spoiled tubers in time. When sorting, they also break off the sprouts so that they do not pull juices from the tubers.
But if the potatoes still began to deteriorate, it can not be sorted out completely. Otherwise, diseased tubers will infect the rest of the crop. It is enough to remove the rotten potatoes from above, and the rest - to powder with dry chalk or ash, which will slow down the development of the disease.
In addition to the correctly chosen temperature and humidity of the air, it is necessary to ensure that the potatoes are kept in complete darkness throughout the entire storage period. When light strikes him, solanine begins to accumulate in it - a toxic substance that causes poisoning. The cellar, basement or other premises chosen for storing potatoes should be ventilated.
Methods for storing potatoes in the cellar or basement
In the bins
The height of the embankment should not exceed one and a half meters. Sometimes the top layer with this method of storage sweat and becomes wet. That is why the potatoes in the bins often deteriorate.
To prevent the appearance of rot, the tubers on top of covered with straw, matting or shavings. As soon as the coating is moistened, it must be replaced.
But experienced gardeners do differently. On top of the potato she poured a layer of beets. Firstly, it is less susceptible to putrefactive processes, and secondly, it easily absorbs excess moisture, which it only benefits.
Potatoes are laid in wooden boxes, which are installed in a pile up to two meters high. But at the same time it is necessary to leave a free space of 40-50 cm between the top drawers and the ceiling for free air circulation.
How to store potatoes in an apartment
If there is a glazed balcony, where the temperature even in cold weather does not fall below + 3 °, potatoes can be stored there. But you need to take care that sunlight does not fall on it and it does not heat up during thaws.
For this you can use a double-layer wooden box with a lid. To maintain the optimum temperature, the space between the walls is filled with insulation - old newspapers, unnecessary things, batting - and the bottom is covered with sawdust.
A special box can be made of foam or similar material that holds heat well and does not allow cold to penetrate from the outside to the inside.
The best place in the apartment is a pantry or closet. It is dark in this utility room, there are no heaters, fresh air flows in there. Potatoes are pre-dried, scattered on sackcloth. Then sorted, laying aside the damaged tubers. They need to be eaten first. The remaining potatoes are poured into wooden crates made from slats or planks so that fresh air can freely penetrate them. Boxes put on the shelves. Top tubers can be covered with burlap.
Most often in an apartment the air humidity is low, especially in winter, when heating is turned on. To do this, next to the boxes you can put open water bottles, which will slightly increase the humidity.
Some housewives store potatoes in the fridge. This method can be resorted to in the event that the house is hot, and not a lot of potatoes. Potatoes, being in the refrigerator for a long time, can start to deteriorate due to high humidity. And if there is also a temperature below the norm, then it will negatively affect its taste.
If the apartment does not have a suitable place for storing potatoes, then it is better not to risk wasting money. Because in a warm room, potatoes can not be stored for a long time - it will begin to germinate, deteriorate, or shrink. Therefore, before buying a large number of potatoes for the winter, you need to weigh all the pros and cons and then make the right decision.