Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tips on Storing Home Grown Potatoes

How do you store potatoes?  So far this year the potato harvest has gone well.   I have probably gotten close to 3 bushels, and that has not even made a big dent in the garden.

If you had a shed or a barn, you could put down a layer of hay, layer of potatoes, layer of hay, layer of potatoes,,,, until all the potatoes are covered with hay.

Space the potatoes so that they are not stacked on top of each other.  The spacing allows airflow and will help prevent potato rot.

The layers of hay add a cushion between the potatoes and will help prevent rot.

  • Keep the potatoes out of direct sunlight.  It is ok to put them in the sun for a little while.  But do not leave potatoes in direct sunlight all day.  Sunlight releases a toxin in the potato, which will turn the potato green.
  • Be careful when harvesting potatoes as to not bruise them.
  • Do not wash the potatoes, just wipe the heavy dirt off.

Besides a shed or barn potatoes can also be stored in a bushel basket.

  • Put a layer of hay at the bottom of the bushel.
  • Layer of potatoes.
  • Layer of hay.
  • Layer of potatoes.
  • Layer of hay.
  • Repeat until the bushel is full.
  • The very last layer should be a layer of hay.

Storing the potatoes in a bushel allows the bushels to be stacked on a rack or shelf.

A bushel is a convenient measuring system for giving potatoes away to friends and family members.

Bushels can be organized in the field as the harvest is going on.  Someone can be putting the bushels together with hay or dried grass while others are digging the potatoes.

Half bushel of fresh potatoes

Half bushel of fresh potatoes right out of the ground

Potatoes stored in a bushel

Potatoes stored in a bushel basket. The hay adds a cushion between the layers.

One of the main things about storing potatoes is to keep them in a cool, dry and dark location.

Clean the heavy dirt off of the potatoes by hand, and do not wash them.  This helps keep them dry.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018