It would seem that they did everything right: they grew potatoes of excellent quality, they collected and dried the harvest in time, they removed it for winter storage …
During which, for some reason, some of the tubers deteriorated … What happened to the potatoes? What mistakes were made during its storage, how to avoid them in the future? It is to these questions that we will seek answers.
Mistake 1: all varieties are good for long-term storage We make a huge mistake when storing tubers of early maturing varieties. And the point here is not at all about the taste – they are excellent – but these potatoes cannot be stored for a long time. Even under ideal conditions, it will only last until November. Then it will begin to sprout quickly, losing its qualities completely, which means that it becomes unsuitable for food needs.
Only medium and late ripening varieties are suitable for long-term storage – remember this.
Mistake 2: you can store poor quality potatoes Sometimes, succumbing to a fleeting temptation, we store potatoes of dubious or low quality, hoping that they will successfully overwinter. Most often this happens in lean years, but believe me, this is a serious mistake! Potatoes are successfully stored throughout the long winter only if the tubers are of excellent quality and absolutely healthy.
That is why, before laying the tubers for storage, they must not only be thoroughly dried, removing all the soil and various foreign impurities, but also sorted, throwing aside all the small, frostbitten, decaying, damaged and sick ones. Even if you store them at the optimum temperature and humidity, only use high quality, healthy potatoes for the winter.
Mistake 3: potatoes and other vegetables This is how we got used to: the potatoes were put in boxes for storage, the beets, carrots, onions and garlic were also distributed in separate boxes. And if there is no place, what to do? Can’t potatoes be stored with other vegetables?
It is possible, but not with everyone. The potatoes are just ideal when stored with beets, which are laid on top of the tubers. And they do this not only in order to save space. Beets perfectly absorb excess moisture, which is only good for them, thereby protecting the potato tubers from rotting.
Mistake 4: potatoes do not require special storage conditions In order to save the harvest in winter, we adapt cellars and undergrounds, basements, and some city gardeners have to use a loggia or balcony for this, or even a storage room in an apartment. But, if in the first two options problems (with the right approach to business, of course) should not arise, then in the case of loggias and balconies, troubles happen quite often.
If a loggia or balcony is the only place where you can store your harvest, approach this difficult business responsibly. You should not leave an uncovered bag of potatoes on the balcony and hope that it will overwinter normally – a miracle will not happen. Try simple home storage instead.
Potato storage box You can build it from wooden boards or shields. It is best when there are two such boxes (different in size), inserted one into the other – like nesting dolls. The internal volume should be slightly less – so that there is a distance of about 5 cm between them. By the way, the bottom and the lid must also be made double. It is best to fill the resulting void between the boxes and lids with thick foam or dry sawdust. Outside, the storage must be upholstered with plastic, a piece of galvanized steel, linoleum, or simply painted – this way you will protect its contents from moisture.
Household thermal container “Balcony cellar” If you have neither the time nor the desire to build a stationary container for storing potatoes on the balcony, I suggest an alternative – the “Balcony Cellar” household thermocontainer. It is essentially a double bag made of sturdy tent fabric that is very attractive to look at. It is insulated with a special especially durable padding polyester and equipped with electric heating. In such a cellar, any vegetables will be preserved on the balcony even in a frost of -40 ° C, because inside this miracle device, the temperature is always automatically maintained at +1 … + 7 ° C. You can control it using an electronic thermostat with a special convenient screen. The cellar is opened with an ordinary zipper. It is also very easy to care for – in the spring, just clean it, if necessary, wash it, and you can clean it until the next season. “Pogrebok” is produced in 3 modifications: for 100 liters (about 1 bag of potatoes), for 180 liters (about 2 bags of potatoes) and for 300 liters (about 3 bags of potatoes).
Mistake 5: you can’t sort potatoes in storage There is an opinion that by sorting out potatoes in storage, we only harm them – we unwittingly damage the tubers and mix the sick with the healthy. It’s a delusion.
During winter storage, potatoes need to be sorted out, since various infectious diseases can appear in it. When sorting through potatoes, it is necessary to remove from the storage not only spoiled tubers, but also all those that came into contact with them. If only healthy tubers lie on the surface, but an unpleasant odor emanates from the container and small flies – fruit flies – appear in the room, these are also signs of rot. Such potatoes must be sorted out all over, removing diseased and infected tubers.
I’m not a fan of planting dozens of seedlings. Three eggplant bushes are enough for me. And do not believe me, this year it turned out to be a lot for me. I planted an eggplant ‘Epic’ F1, and it proved to be a super-yielding variety.