Storing potatoes – as in the winter to keep the harvest
The storage of harvested crops in winter is not an easy task. Vegetables gradually deteriorate, rot and black, dry or wilt, bugs and other parasites are planted in them. And even if you do not earn on selling grown vegetables, but simply provide your family with natural products, it is all the more important to know about the conditions of their proper storage in the winter. In this article we will tell you all the most necessary information about temperature and other potato storage rules, and also give a short reference about the frequent mistakes of a beginner trucker.
The first rule – what varieties of potatoes can be stored in the winter?
The first mistake that beginners often tolerate is the storage of early varieties of potatoes. Of course, I want to preserve the excellent taste of the product and savor the vegetables grown in love in winter, but early varieties can not be stored for a long time. As early as November, early-maturing potatoes begin to germinate, quickly fade and lose their flavor, however, like a normal appearance.
Thus, medium and late potato varieties are suitable for long winter storage. It perfectly preserves the taste and does not deteriorate for long.
Quality potatoes – the second rule of successful wintering
Like any other vegetable, potatoes for long-term storage should be of good quality.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Before laying potatoes for the winter in any case do not wash it and be sure to thoroughly dry it out.
- Collect healthy, not damaged by parasites tubers – all the detail, and out frozen old, damaged or diseased vegetable gather in a separate place.
- In addition, the potatoes selected for wintering should also be sorted out - large tubers will winter separately from smaller ones.
- Remove the tubers from the ground and other impurities.
- Before sending the potatoes for a winter harvest should be kept for one to three weeks in a cool (10-20 degrees) and well ventilated area. During this period, free access of oxygen is very important because some time after harvest, the tubers produce heat, and if you could harvest in one pile, it is formed inside the steam room, which will lead to rotting of the product.
After all these steps, vegetables can safely be sent to winter.
Keeping potatoes - the third rule: take the vegetables straight to the storehouse
Even if you sent a completely healthy and not damaged vegetable for wintering, it must be sorted and revised throughout the winter. Incorrect temperatures, mice penetrating the vault, small flies - all this can lead to the beginning of rotting vegetables.
If you do not notice the rotten tubers at first sight, but you feel an unpleasant smell - be sure to go through the whole harvest. Finding the decaying tubers, remove them together with those to which the spoiled potatoes were snug.
Sprouted the same tubers should be cleaned from the sprouts, and green - cut, or not at all to eat.
Note! If the potatoes began to germinate, immediately remove the sprouts, and if possible, do not eat sprouted tubers at all. If the shoots are not removed, poisonous solanine accumulates in the vegetable, a substance that causes nausea, vomiting, heaviness in the stomach, and loose stool in large doses. In addition, poisoning manifests itself in severe breathing, uneven heart rate, loss of orientation and even an increase in body temperature of a person. It should be noted right away that solanine in small doses - with the proper storage of potatoes and during the ripening period of the root crop - serves as a natural protection of the vegetable from the parasites. As for the green color of the tubers, it is chlorophyll, which promotes photosynthesis. And although in itself this substance is not harmful, but rather beneficial, but under the influence of light, the root crop is not just green from chlorophyll, but gives a bell that the amount of solanine in the tubers is also increasing. So, such a vegetable is not suitable for food.
Temperature potato storage and humidity – rule four
The storage conditions for potatoes assume not only a high-quality vegetable, but also a correct temperature regime.
The first thing to remember is that tubers are somehow living organisms, and they know how to breathe. The higher the air temperature in the storage, the more intensive this process becomes. The result of storage of root vegetables in rooms with elevated temperatures is flabby, sluggish and often sprouted vegetable, unfit for consumption.
The optimum temperature for long-term storage of the potato harvest is 2-3 degrees above zero. In principle, table potatoes are well kept and at 4-6 degrees. The ideal humidity is 85-90%.
Low temperatures lead to the active development of sugar in the potato tubers out frozen old and have a nasty taste. The high temperatures also lead to rapid deterioration of the vegetable.
Why potatoes turn black when stored inside
Blackened tubers - the gardener's misfortune. And this is the result of improper storage of the crop.
Here are a few reasons why potatoes turn black inside during long-term storage:
- Poor ventilation in storage – tubers suffocate from the accumulated carbon dioxide and moisture. The same applies to the height of the bins – do not fill the crop with a height more than 1.5 meters, otherwise the inside of the pile will accumulate a lot of carbon dioxide, and the potatoes will start to blacken.
- Hypothermia vegetables, a sharp decrease in storage temperature and harvesting potatoes in the cold weather.
- A quick Browning of the potato can testify to the fact that the fertilizers used were nitrogen mass. And as you probably know, excess of nitrates in food are harmful to humans.
- Damage on tubers, which could appear at the time of harvest. It was during these three weeks, when the potatoes dry out before sending for the winter, and heal the resulting wounds.
- A deficiency of potassium in the soil where grew the vegetable. Come to the aid of potash fertilizers, chlorine-free – they enrich the soil in the period of active growth of the potato.
Here are such simple secrets of long-term storage of potato harvest in winter. Follow these simple rules - and let your potatoes be the most delicious!