Potatoes are called the second bread for a reason. It must be included in the daily and festive menu. Harvesting, depending on the locality, takes place in September-early October. Owners of cellars without problems keep it until the summer. Residents of high-rise buildings do not have such an opportunity. We will figure out where to store potatoes in the apartment and how to do it correctly.
In a short video, they told in what places it is better to keep potatoes and what to use to store them
All about storing potatoes in an apartment
— In drawers in the kitchen
— In a cold closet
— In a refrigerator
— On the balcony
— In the pantry
Optimal storage conditions
Any vegetables can be bought in the store all year round due to the fact that special conditions for their preservation are created in warehouses. It is very difficult to create them in an apartment, sometimes impossible. However, they are necessary so that the tubers do not deteriorate and retain all their nutritional value. We will analyze in detail all the necessary conditions.
Vegetables do not like heat. The best storage temperature for potatoes is 2-4°C. This is what is created in the cellars or cellars. Variations of this value are allowed. So, if the crop is stored in a cool room, for example, on a balcony or in a corridor, the temperature can rise to + 7 ° C. When properly prepared tubers are placed in a closed container, they lie well even at +18°C. We list the rules regarding the temperature regime.
- Potatoes freeze at sub-zero temperatures. If it lies on a balcony or an unglazed loggia, when it gets cold to -2 ° C and below, it must be brought into the room.
- Do not store vegetables in the immediate vicinity of radiators or heaters.
- For bookmarks choose the coolest places. But at the same time, such that the possibility of freezing vegetables is excluded.
- It is advisable to lower the thermometer into the potato box and check its readings regularly. This will help control at what temperature the potatoes are stored.
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The optimum humidity for tubers is 80-90%. If it decreases, they lose moisture, become flabby. Excessive moisture provokes the development of fungal diseases and rot. In addition, heat and moisture become a signal for vegetables to germinate. The buds begin to grow, giving sprouts. This worsens the nutritional value of potatoes, reduces its keeping quality. Here are the rules for maintaining normal humidity.
- Do not place containers close to walls where condensate collects.
- Sufficient ventilation is required for the storage room. It needs to be ventilated from time to time.
- Potatoes are shifted with sawdust, which will absorb excess moisture. It is impossible to stack them with other vegetable crops. An exception to this rule is beets.
The optimal combination of humidity and temperature is the main condition for the preservation of potatoes. If the parameters are chosen correctly, it will lie for six months. Otherwise, no more than a few weeks.
To preserve the crop, it is necessary to exclude access to light. Under the influence of the sun, solanine is produced in the potato pulp. This is a substance that prevents the development of rot and bacteria. It is also dangerous for people. Vegetables with solanine, they are easy to distinguish by their green color, are not recommended for consumption. In addition, light activates the growth of shoots, which is also undesirable. Therefore, tubers are stored only in a dark place.
Properly selected containers will help the potatoes last longer. Let’s list the options.
Wicker basket. Well ventilated, helps maintain normal humidity.
- Linen bag. Does not interfere with the natural «breathing» of tubers, passes air to them.
- Wooden box. Best of boards with slits to retain light but allow air currents to pass through.
- Plastic container. Be sure to have holes or crevices so that the roots breathe.
- synthetic mesh. Provides sufficient ventilation, roomy and inexpensive.
Plastic bags cannot be used. Moisture accumulates in them, which causes the development of rot. Plastic is only suitable if the vegetables are put in the refrigerator for a short time.
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Ways to store potatoes in an apartment
Admittedly, an apartment is not the best place to store potatoes. Especially when it comes to multiple bags. The main difficulty in creating an optimal humidity and temperature regime at home. However, there is a solution. We offer five options.
1. Cabinets in the kitchen
It is often hot in this room from cooking, so you need to choose the right place where to store potatoes in the kitchen. Let’s list the selection criteria.
- Choose the coolest place in the room, as far as possible from the stove, oven and household appliances that heat up during operation.
- It is important that it be without access to light, otherwise the production of solanine and the active growth of shoots will begin.
- The place should have unhindered air access for ventilation and removal of excess moisture.
A good choice is the drawer under the sink. Boxes or wicker baskets with vegetables are placed in it. To prevent rot, they are shifted with branches of wormwood, gout or mint. If the size of the kitchen set allows, stocks are placed on its shelves. These can be retractable or stationary structures on which baskets or containers are placed.
You can use special vegetable cabinets. These are boxes with holes for ventilation, designed like stools. The cover is made as a soft seat, so it is comfortable to sit on such a stool. The capacity includes about 20 kg of root crops. Good storage containers of various types. They are made of plastic with mesh covers for air access.
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2. Box under the window
In some apartments, the so-called «Khrushchev refrigerators» have been preserved. These are boxes built under the window opening. They are also suitable for planting potato crops. Given that the temperature in them can drop significantly, it is necessary to constantly monitor it. If necessary, insulate the building.
Small stocks are stored here, since a large amount simply does not fit on the shelf. The product is packed in thick plastic. So it will be better preserved and will not absorb foreign odors. The temperature on the refrigerator shelf should not fall below + 5-6 ° C, otherwise the nutritional value of the culture is lost. Starch in the cold actively breaks down into sugars, which gives a sweetish aftertaste.
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Well, if it is glazed and insulated. Then the crop will overwinter without loss. Unless in the most severe frosts it will have to be additionally wrapped with old blankets or something similar. An open unglazed loggia is not the best place for long-term storage of vegetables, because the temperature of storing potatoes on the balcony should not drop to negative levels. Where winters are mild enough, you can make an insulated container for potatoes.
To do this, they assemble a structure made of wood or wood-based panels. Insulation is laid at the bottom: polystyrene foam, sawdust, mineral wool with a layer of 10-15 cm. A smaller box is placed on top. So that between the walls of the structures there are gaps of the order of 10-12 cm. Insulation is also placed in them. Root crops are laid in a smaller box, covered with a lid. From above, the structure is covered with a layer of insulation. In such a home-made storage, the crop is safe even at -10 -12 ° C.
Well, if the apartment has such a room. Most often there are no windows and radiators, that is, this is an ideal place to store vegetable stocks: it is cool and dark. In the pantry you can put a spacious chest. It can be an ordinary box with a lid or a container assembled from small boards with large gaps for ventilation. Such as in the photo below.
To use every centimeter of usable space, all the walls in the pantry can be occupied by organizer cabinets. In one of them place provisions. Here, groceries, canned food, and other products are placed on the upper shelves. In the lower part, wicker or cloth vegetable baskets-containers are placed. Under such conditions, potatoes, onions, garlic and other crops are well preserved.
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How to prepare the crop for planting
Careful preparation is the main secret of how to store potatoes for a long time. The «correct» technology includes several stages. Let’s analyze each of them.
When buying or before planting, it is important to choose the right variety. For long-term storage, only late or medium-late varieties are suitable. Mid-early or early ones delight with rapid maturation, but will lie no more than a month or two. With independent cultivation, it is easier to influence the keeping quality of the future crop. For example, overfeeding with nitrogen fertilizers reduces disease resistance. This factor must be excluded. When buying on the market, it remains only to trust the seller and choose carefully.
Usually harvested potatoes are dried immediately after digging. For the first time, three to four hours are enough for the wet earth adhering to it to dry out and fall off. After transportation from the field, the crop is dried for 3-3.5 weeks in a well-ventilated dry place. At this time, the tubers adapt to new conditions, the areas damaged during digging dry up. For drying, the optimal humidity is 90-95% and the temperature is 12-18°C. Potatoes are periodically inspected, rotting and spoiled are removed.
Before storing potatoes in storage, they must be sorted. Select tubers by size. Large and small are separated from medium. Separately put specimens with damaged peel. Only medium-sized tubers can be stored for a long time, without the slightest damage and signs of illness. They are put into storage. The rest are eaten in a short time, because they will not lie for a long time. Small specimens are left for seeds if they are needed next year.
Traditionally, potatoes are stored in cellars and cellars, but not everyone has this opportunity. Putting a storage box in the entrance of a high-rise building, as many are accustomed to, is illegal. If desired, you can equip storage in the apartment. If done correctly, the tubers will keep for several months.
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