The Content Of The Article:
- 1) Do not harvest potatoes too soon
- 2) Allow to dry before storage
- 3) The correct storage temperature
- 4) Potatoes need absolute darkness
- 5) Do not store potatoes and apples together
No question: Potatoes taste best when they come fresh from the ground on the table. However, you can only harvest your ripe potatoes until the fall as needed. Before the first ground frost comes, they must all be cleared and stored frost-free, because the tubers are extremely cold-sensitive. Even slight degrees of freezing destroy the cell structure - they then soften and begin to rot. With the following tips for harvesting and storage, your potatoes are still edible next spring.
1) Do not harvest potatoes too soon
Even before the leaves of the potatoes have completely died, you can harvest the first tubers for the kitchen. With the harvest of the storage potatoes one should wait at least two weeks after the dying off of the shoots. During this period, the shell hardens. It is thus more resistant to rot and the tubers stay fresh longer in the camp. The earliest harvest time for stored potatoes is usually mid-September, depending on the climate and weather conditions.
2) Allow to dry before storage
If possible, harvest your potatoes only in dry weather and allow the tubers to dry slightly before storage in an airy, rain-protected location. Important: Sort out the damaged tubers - they are only suitable for immediate consumption. The rest should not be cleaned because the adherent dry soil is a natural protection against rot. In professional farming, potatoes are often washed after harvest and then preserved with various anti-fouling chemicals such as chlorpropham, imazalil and thiabendazole - the telltale addition on the label is "post-harvest treated". The clean tubers are on the supermarket shelf, although visually appealing, but also unhealthier than natural potatoes.
3) The correct storage temperature
In a so-called potato hive, the tubers can be stored to save space. They are taken from below as needed. Tip: You can buy this potato horseradisk for about 45 Euro in the MEIN shop
Potatoes have a natural germ inhibition, which degrades depending on the ambient temperature within five to nine weeks after harvesting. After this period, a storage temperature below five degrees is required so that the tubers do not germinate prematurely. Ideal is a so-called potato horseradish in an unheated, frost-free and airy basement, but if necessary a garage is also suitable. Here, the tubers should be stored in a box insulated with dry straw, so that they do not freeze and are not exposed to excessive temperature fluctuations. Previously, potatoes were often stored in specially excavated burrows. These were previously designed to protect mice from fine wire mesh and insulated with straw all around. Above all, at the level of the earth's surface, a thick straw packing is required so that no frost can penetrate into the potato center.
4) Potatoes need absolute darkness
Too light storage not only promotes premature germination of the potatoes. The shell also turns green upon continuous illumination and stores solanine. The toxin is found in the leaves and sometimes in the fruits of almost all nightshades. Small amounts are not questionable, but you should cut off all the greened parts of the tubers when peeling. High solanine concentrations are expressed in a bitter taste of the tubers.
5) Do not store potatoes and apples together
Apples emit ethylene in winter storage, a so-called ripening gas. This also promotes maturation or budding in potatoes and other fruits and tubers. For this reason you should not store potatoes and apples close to each other, even in separate rooms if possible. Nevertheless, almost all storage potatoes show more or less long germs by spring. At the same time, the starch stored in the storage tissue of the tubers is broken down and converted into sugars - thus germinating potatoes slowly become wrinkled, soft and lose their volume. But you do not have to dispose of them immediately: As long as the germs are not more than a finger's width and the tubers are still fairly firm, you can eat them without hesitation.
In this condition you should not eat stored potatoes anymore. They have formed long germs and the sunken, wrinkled shell indicates that much of the contained starch has already been broken down