How to store large # potatoes over winter?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Quiver0f10, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    We have been blessed with a big amount of potatoes, I do not have a root cellar but do have an unheated basement. I was thinking of storing them down stairs but I don't know what to store them in? Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Dug and dried, not washed, in burlap or mesh bags, or open topped cardboard boxes, all kept in the dark.
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can make a potato bin out of boards. I have one that has legs to keep them up off the floor, and make them easier to reach when you perioticly go through them checking for any that might be going bad. I made mine about 2x2x8 feet. How big is your job to decide with yours. It doesn't freeze down there does it?
     
  4. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    No it doesn't freeze, gets cold, but definitely no freezing. We have plenty wood laying @ to build a storage box., I will store in cardboard until we get the wood one built later this weekend. Thanks!
     
  5. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Harvest them after the vines have been dead for 2 weeks. Do not wash. Cure at 60 degrees for a week and store in your basement in mesh bags or cardboard boxes at around 40-50 degrees. They need lots of humidity, though. If you have a dirt floor in the basement, that's perfect-put the bags on pallets right over the dirt. If not, you might want to somehow add moisture to the environment--maybe some wet burlap in the general vicinity or something.
     
  6. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

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    Hi Quiver, I suggest if you have time, and a pressure canner, that you can some of your taters. We have neither a basement nor a root cellar, so our options are limited. It sure is handy to have them in a jar, ready to boil and use.
    Margo
     
  7. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    What is your secret for growing potatoes? This is the second year in a row they have been small and not formed well. Also we are growing sweet potatoes. When do we dig them up?
     
  8. MicheleMomof4

    MicheleMomof4 Well-Known Member

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    How about those without a pressure canner that live in a warm climate (Florida)? Whats the best way to store them?
     
  9. Jan Sears

    Jan Sears Well-Known Member

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    We store our potatoes in milk crates that my husband has collected over the years in our basement cold storage room. We stack them 2-3 deep & then cover them with old blankets or bed covers. We are still using them the following April. We then use any potatoes that are still left as seed potato, therefore perpetuating our own crop from year to year. We have done this for the past 11 years with good success. My only suggestion would to only plant potatoes that are perfect. We had alot of scab on our potatoes one year but still used them for seed & kept having scabby potatoes each year. So this fall we are going to the farmers market & buy ourselves a bushel or two of large perfect potatoes that we will be able to store over the winter to plant next spring. Wishing you all the best.
     
  10. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    "What is your secret for growing potatoes"

    My secret is not growing them myself :D . We live in Northern Maine and this is potato country, we were able to gather potatoes from a local farmer.

    Thanks for the ideas everyone, I apreciate it!
     
  11. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

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    Secrets of growing potatoes.For me, it has been much experimentation.
    No matter which method I've used, the best results have come when I have been in the garden daily, checking for insect damage, signs of distress, etc. Of course, I have quit working outside the home, so have no excuse not to tend the garden.
    Use minimum fertilizer, careful of the nitrogen content. Only add fertilizer in liquid form, while watering, weak solution---(MiracleGro) when dry periods come. Use granular type when planting, 10-10-10, sparingly.
    Hill the potatoes as they grow. When they reach about a foot in height, quit hilling, and start mulching heavily. grass clippings, straw, carpet scraps
    Watch for dry conditions so as to not stress plants, water well, but with heavy mulch, don't need very much,
    Bugs---no explanation needed.
    Did the container method with 4 plants, really small scale. Made a small box with wood scraps. As plants grew, packed clippings, then a shovelfull of garden soil, then a bit of chicken litter,(small amount) then compost then clippings, up the stems till only a couple inches of foliage show. Water well. Potatoes were large, and smooth, in number, a healthy lot. did not weigh as I should have to prove the method. But will grow taters agin this way. Oh, and used diluted MiracleGro as fertilizer. Plants looked beautiful, deep green.
    Best suggestion is to make several small rows, and test the methods you read about and note the results. Soil differences and weather conditions etc can be taken into account.
    Experiment! and good luck,Margo :)
    :p
     
  12. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Margo beat me to it! I love having canned potatoes on hand too. I keep several pounds of raw tatoes in my basement and can several quarts to add to stew, soup, etc.. :)
     
  13. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    keeping them separated in milk cartons is best, so if one batch gets a rotten tater , it don't spoil all your taters or apples or tomatoes. tomatoes wrap in b&w newspaper and keep cool also. you might get a couple months if you are lucky
     
  14. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    We grow them under hay. Here's the link to my thread detailing it. Because the potatoes form just under the soil line, they're less likely to be deformed by rocks and such. We harvested hundreds of pounds from two 100' rows.

    http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=56243&highlight=straw+potatoes