Potatoes can be considered the main ingredient for any dish. And any hostess knows enough recipes for its preparation. Thanks to the ingenuity and far-sighted plans of Peter the Great, potatoes boldly settled in Russia. Having in its arsenal a lot of useful vitamins and nutrients, such a delicacy rightfully deserves respect and love from both adults and children. So that the whole family can enjoy their favorite delicacy for a long time, he needs to create all the necessary conditions for proper storage. For this, it is worth knowing that the optimum temperature for storing potatoes is +2 degrees Celsius.
Currently, there are many ways to store potato tubers. It all depends on the financial capabilities, knowledge and ingenuity of the owner. Especially the winners are those who have their own land in the village or a private house - the problem of where to store the potatoes immediately disappears. As for urban thrifty housewives, they have to find ways to save potatoes for long winter days.
What you need to know before putting potatoes in storage
Potatoes do not belong to perishable products, but non-compliance with storage standards (high humidity and dampness, temperature changes or sunlight) makes it naughty, which results in its rapid deterioration. The main condition for all owners remains unchanged - the storage space must be dark and cool. Sunlight adversely affects the tubers, causing them to turn green and release a glucoside that is poisonous to the human body.
Each host has its own storage temperature for potatoes, but ideally it is on the order of +2 to +3 degrees Celsius.
Only within the given limits can he stay for a long time, retaining all his properties and vitamins. Another important factor is the high humidity in the storage. Permissible level - 87-91%. Deviation from a given standard will adversely affect the potato as a whole.
Temperature storage of potatoes in winter and summer
Harvesting tubers usually occurs in the summer season. Skillful farmers manage to plant potatoes twice in the spring-summer (in early spring and in the middle of summer) and get a double catch. Both in the first and in the second case the question of storage remains one - how to save it from winter frosts and summer heat.
The temperature of storage of potatoes in winter and summer remains unchanged - from +2 to + 3 degrees. Why should it be permanent? Because when frosts it becomes sweet and sluggish. At high temperatures, the tuber begins to "breathe" more, consuming starch. There is an increase in shoots, causing the potato is deformed, giving all the juice to the latter.
The freezing temperature of potatoes during storage is -1 degree. In this case, the starch contained in it turns into sugar, so the frozen tubers will give a sweet aftertaste when cooking, which will spoil the dish.
Storage conditions in the cellar
Before laying potatoes underground, it must be cleaned from last year’s crates, trash and other property. Drying and airing also does not hurt. Experts also recommend limeing the walls and ceiling of the room to prevent the formation of mold. Since the temperature of storage of potatoes requires a certain degree, it is necessary to take care of ventilation in advance (as a last resort to establish compulsory) or caulk all the gaps and holes in the walls and ceiling. Also, it would not be superfluous to regularly air the cellar through open doors.
Before tubing in the cellar, it is necessary to sort the tubers: leave the whole ones, spoiled or cut with a shovel, when digging. Prepare special trellised drawers or racks. Favorite delicacy should be laid with a layer not thicker than 30 cm to ensure air access to the lower tubers. The storage temperature of potatoes in the cellar should be within 2-3 degrees above zero.
Storage in the apartment: principles
If there is no cottage or an extra cellar, then you have to keep the potatoes at home. The best storage place is a balcony - this place in any apartment is equipped specifically for such purposes. Experienced custodians advise to do the following before storing potatoes for storage:
- check last year's box: replace the damaged waterproofing film,
- make sure that the walls and bottom of the box are lined with foam,
- clean the exhaust pipes from dust and dirt, install them in a box,
- depending on the size of the box, prepare blue lamps for heating in cold weather,
- check the serviceability of the thermometer,
- clean the old mesh (not recommended to use bags).
The temperature of storing potatoes on the balcony depends on how efficiently and reliably the owner has warmed the box and how often it will heat the box.
Storage in special refrigerators
Sometimes it turns out that in the apartments the balcony is combined with the main living space, and the private house is not equipped with a basement or other similar structure. Potatoes do not even want to listen to this kind of excuse and require proper storage space. Fortunately, the way out is quite simple - the purchase of special refrigerators, in which the optimum temperature for storing potatoes is set at 3 seconds. This equipment is affordable only to wealthy citizens. But it is worth it, since it is possible to solve the eternal problem once and for all with storage space.
The advantage of special refrigerators is that in such devices you can store not only potatoes, but also other vegetables. They do not require installation of ventilation, ventilation, special conditions for operation and repair. It is enough just to install this camera in your home and switch to a convenient temperature regime for storing potatoes.
Storage of potatoes in vegetable stores
This option is ideal for those categories of citizens who are engaged in the cultivation and sale of potatoes in large quantities. Since it becomes problematic to store such large stocks at home, you have to choose vegetable stores. These specialized rooms are equipped with universal heating and cooling devices, ventilation systems, which allows storing potatoes and other vegetables and fruits in large quantities for a long time.
By automating the process, the storage temperature of potatoes in the vegetable store is optimal: from +2 to +4 degrees.
The main condition for taking the tubers for storage is the sorting of potatoes for good (which is suitable for long-term storage) and defective (rotten, sliced, sluggish, sick, etc.).
Emergency Potato Storage Equipment
Many beginning gardeners plant the entire garden with potatoes without hesitation. The logic of some is clear - this is a nourishing and tasty product that all housewives in the first place when cooking. And only when putting it in storage they ask a logical question: “What is the temperature of storage of potatoes?”. For the above-mentioned culture, the conditions of savings for economic purposes are quite extensive and range from +2 to +12 degrees Celsius. Therefore, at high yields, craftsmen simply dig a hole (depth - 2 m, width - 2 m.). The bottom of the pit is covered with dry grass 50 cm, then potatoes are covered with an approximate layer of 1 m, covered with a small layer of the same dry grass on top. The upper 50 cm is left to be filled with earth and covered with tin. Before the onset of frost, the tin is removed and the pit filled with earth. To prevent water from entering it, it is necessary to ensure the discharge of sewage by covering it with a sheet of slate or tin on top. The earth will provide warm tubers, and the temperature of storing potatoes in the winter in the pit will be about +3 degrees.
Every housewife knows that the minimum storage temperature for potatoes should be from +2 to +3. But if the goal is to simply keep the tubers for 1-2 months, then the degree level can be increased to +12.
In order for potatoes to sprout faster (for planting the latter), it is necessary to provide it with heat (+14 +18) and humidity. In this case, you get excellent seed.
At low humidity (less than 60%) there is a decrease in the volume of potatoes. To do this, simply shift the fruit to a more humid place.
When stored in a cellar, you should not regularly shift good potatoes from place to place in search of damaged ones. In this way, it is possible to inadvertently damage or strike whole tubers, which will later become worthless. It is better to take care of the optimal tuber layer at the time of storage, so that later it is easy to determine the spoiled fruit.
Best storage facilities from experts
Every owner wants a whole year to have fresh and beautiful potatoes. But for the latter to remain so, it needs to create the right storage conditions. Including the storage temperature of potatoes should be +2 degrees. One of the very first and best devices for saving tubers in their original form is the cellar. His story goes into the distant past, when people discovered that vegetables are stored in a normal pit much better than on a protected surface of the earth.
Over time, the cellar improved, and its functions today are much wider and richer. The storage temperature of potatoes in the cellar is optimal, it will provide long-term fruit conservation.
The most beloved and tasty root vegetable is quite unpretentious in care, cultivation and processing. If simple potato storage requirements are observed, it will delight all family members with its presence on the table in the form of various dishes.
Preparation of the harvest for storage
For the successful saving of potato harvest, it should be, first of all, to dry. In dry sunny weather, it can be dried right on the field, but usually, to avoid accidents, it can be dried in a dry, dark, ventilated room, for example, in a garage. The procedure usually takes from one to several days - it depends on the state of freshly dug tubers.
Terms for potatoes
Potatoes are sensitive to the conditions of storage, so you need to follow certain rules, equipping in an apartment or house storage for him.
The place for storage must be dark, because under the influence of long-term natural or artificial lighting, the tubers begin not only to sprout, but also produce poisonous solanine, the use of which can lead to severe poisoning.
Temperature conditions are also an important factor in the successful storage of this vegetable. At what temperature is it better to store potatoes? The best temperature range for this is from +3 ° C to +5 ° C (some varieties withstand storage at +1.5 ° C). At higher temperatures, the tubers rather quickly lose their moisture, shrivel, germinate, with negative temperatures turn black, become sweetish in taste.
Some time (up to three months) potatoes can be kept well at sufficiently high temperatures, but not exceeding 20 ° C. The duration of such storage depends on the particular variety.
Optimum humidity of air for storage makes 80-90%. At lower rates, potatoes quickly change their structure - it becomes soft and flabby. Too high humidity contributes to the development of fungal diseases. To normalize moisture, beets are added to bags or containers with potatoes, which absorb excess moisture.
At the entrance
The entrance is a very specific location for storing potatoes. There is a risk of yield loss. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended that the storage box be securely fixed on the floor and also equipped with a good lock. In addition, in this tank you need to drill ventilation holes for free access of air to the potatoes.
The level of humidity in the entrance may fluctuate significantly, and therefore it is necessary to control it with a psychrometer or with the help of open plastic utensils. If dark spots appear inside the dishes, this is a sign of increased humidity, which is harmful for potatoes.
The advantages of this place are that it is noticeably cooler at the entrance than the apartment, but it is much warmer there in winter than outside, and the temperature can correspond to the +4 ° C ... + 6 ° C range ideal for saving tubers.
On the balcony
If the balcony is not glazed, then protect the potatoes may apply a protective coating. First, the storage tank should be insulated with insulating material, foam is suitable for this purpose.
In such a box, the tubers do not fit to the top - you should leave space in order to cover the roots with rags. This may be, for example, an old blanket or other unnecessary rags. In addition, at too low temperatures, the box is heated with a conventional electric bulb placed inside (the light bulb must be hidden under an opaque coating). All this will help to maintain sufficient heat and frostbite the tubers.
If the balcony is glazed, the storage method is simplified. A simple wooden box for storing vegetables, but a board to a board, or a few such boxes, will save potatoes at their best. Although in this case we should not forget about the seasonal night cooling and closely monitor the temperature both on the balcony and on the street. If it is critically lowered in winter, vegetables should be covered with a cloth or the heater should be turned on.
In the pantry
Room temperature is not very suitable for saving potatoes, but, nevertheless, quite a few people, in the absence of another place, keep it there. Here, the following should be remembered: after the tubers have been dug out and dried, they are at rest and can sometimes be safely saved up to three months at temperatures up to +20 ° C. For storage in the pantry pick up boxes with good ventilation, while ensuring that the pantry itself was dry and well ventilated.
In the kitchen under the sink
A small amount of potatoes can be stored under the sink in the kitchen. The best container for this method is a wicker basket, also use pots and buckets, pre-drilled holes in them for better air circulation. Even for short-term storage is not recommended to use plastic bags, it can lead to damage to tubers. It is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the plumbing, so as not to fill the stored potatoes with running water.
In a refrigerator
Quite a bit of potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator. Perhaps this is the most appropriate storage method, since the refrigerator allows you to constantly maintain the optimum temperature and does not require pre-drying of the storage. For packing tubers it is better to use paper bags.
Grade and storage time
It should be remembered that early ripe potato varieties are absolutely not suitable for long-term storage. By November, they may become unusable. Mid-season varieties, the harvest of which is beginning to gather in mid-summer, have a much better keeping quality, but the most suitable for long-term storage are late varieties.