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There are many ways to store potatoes these days. People who have their own land plots or private houses, where potatoes are much easier to store, remain in an advantageous position.
In order for the tubers to hold out intact until spring, only a few rules must be followed, and the most important is the storage temperature. Consider at what temperature and how to store the vegetable.
Optimal temperature conditions
Ideally, the temperature at which you can store the harvested crop of potatoes should be +2 .. + 4 degrees... Only within such a framework will the tubers stand for a long time and will not lose their vitamins and microelements.
After the potatoes have been dug up, they need to begin to prepare them for acceptable temperatures. This process is called the cooling down period. It is necessary to gradually reduce the temperature at the place where the potatoes are stored. It is worth reducing daily by 0.5 degrees. This cooling procedure takes about 12-15 days.
In a large potato storage, the temperature regime can be maintained with an accuracy of a degree, but natural conditions will help in the country: in 2 weeks the temperature will almost drop by itself - after all, autumn is in the yard. When the required +2 .. + 4 degrees are reached, physiological and biochemical processes will freeze inside the potato. After that, the tubers are ready for long-term storage.
At how many degrees does the root crop freeze?
Subzero temperatures are very detrimental to vegetables.... At 0 degrees, the process of converting starch into sugar occurs. Therefore, the potatoes become sweet and sluggish.
Important! If the temperature drops even lower, for example, to -1, then the tubers cannot withstand it and simply freeze. Such a product can no longer be stored further and will have to be disposed of.
How does the shelf life of a vegetable depend on the temperature regime?
Temperature has a direct effect on the shelf life of the tubers. If you adhere to the recommendations and keep the potatoes at the optimum temperature for it, then the vegetable can easily lie until spring.
An increase in the minimum recommended temperature threshold is bad: sprouts appear and potatoes wither (read about possible problems when storing potatoes and how to solve them in a separate article). A decrease leads to its freezing. You need to be especially careful in the spring, since the tubers begin to sprout buds and in order to retard growth, the temperature is purposefully lowered by 2-3 degrees lower than during the main storage period. With the help of such effects on the potato, it can be preserved until the beginning of May.
How to create the necessary conditions?
In the cellar
To ensure the correct temperature in order to properly store the vegetable in the cellar, you need to take care of thermal insulation.
- The basement door should provide protection from cold and heat.
- All cracks and cracks must be covered so that there are no drafts.
- Walls and ceiling should be insulated with foam.
On the balcony
In apartment conditions, the best place for it will be a glazed balcony or loggia. To store potatoes in a loggia, it will be enough to place the tubers in insulated boxes... There, the temperature will be kept at the desired level.
The balcony will have to be slightly equipped so that the vegetable does not freeze in frosts, because even in the glazed version, the cold will flow inside.
- Just like in the basement, you need to fill up all the cracks.
- Windows can be sealed to prevent cold air currents from seeping through.
- Insulated boxes are often made.
- In case it is still too cold on the balcony after all these procedures, a heater is used.
In the garage
Often, potatoes are carried in garages in winter.... However, there are some drawbacks here, and the most important is the inability to regulate the temperature, if the garage is not equipped with a heating system. In order for the vegetable to stand for the entire winter period, it will be necessary to insulate the room.
- The door to the garage must not let in the cold.
- Walls can be insulated with polystyrene foam.
- The best solution for storing potatoes in the garage would be to create special insulated boxes for it. Such boxes are made of wood, metal, plywood and the use of underfloor heating systems.
What else needs to be done to preserve potatoes for a long time?
In order for the potato to lie all winter and be edible, it is necessary to adhere to some storage rules.
- Before laying it, you need to dry it slightly and sort it out. Damaged tubers or tubers with green spots should not get into the total mass.
- The room where the vegetable is located should have an optimum humidity of 80-85%, temperature +2 .. + 4 degrees. There should be no holes or crevices. Ventilation is imperative.
We wrote in more detail about the necessary conditions for storing potatoes in winter here.
There is nothing difficult in storing this vegetable. One has only to remember some recommendations and adhere to the optimal temperature..
Watch the video on what tips you need to follow in order to properly preserve potatoes: