Most gardeners grow potatoes in their plots. And is it possible to imagine the table of the Russian people without the excellent potato dishes? It seems that the answer is obvious. But in order to be able to enjoy the dishes from this vegetable, it must be preserved until the new harvest.
Each person has their own secrets of storing root crops. Some believe that unwashed potatoes are stored better, while others argue that it needs to be washed, otherwise it will become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Which of these statements is true? This article will answer the question of whether to wash potatoes before storage.
Advantages and disadvantages of washed potatoes
In order to have an objective look at this issue, this article will look at both the advantages of storing washed potatoes and its disadvantages. One thing is clear - the potatoes must be stored dry. Whether the root crop was washed or not is irrelevant. An important role is played by the air temperature in the room in which the potato tubers and air humidity are stored. So, the temperature should be no higher than + 5ºС and not lower than +2 ºС. Humidity should be in the range of 80-91%. To achieve these indicators it is necessary to install forced-air ventilation in the cellar.
The advantages of storing washed potatoes
Each storage method has its advantages. Therefore, we suggest that you consider the advantages of storing washed potatoes:
- On the washed potatoes, flaws are immediately visible. So, you can immediately remove the infected and damaged tubers, than you protect the rest of the potatoes from damage. That is, thanks to the washing you can make a better sorting of potatoes.
- If you wash the potatoes, then it will have a presentation. It is more pleasant to work with her in the process of cooking.
- It takes much less time to clean the cellar after storing the washed potatoes in it.
- After washing the tubers, they can be treated with copper sulfate solution or slaked lime to prevent spoilage of vegetables.
but on the other hand
Each storage method has a reverse side of the coin, and for the sake of honesty, you need to discuss it too:
- If, during the washing process, the peel is damaged and the tubers are not sufficiently dry, then naturally they will deteriorate faster.
- If we wash potatoes before putting them in the cellar, the process of preparing tubers for storage will take longer.
- In order to wash the potatoes before storage, you need to spend a lot of water.
- To dry washed potatoes, you need to allocate enough space, and this is not always possible.
- If the potatoes have been washed, the drying will have to be given more time. This is important, because otherwise, the tubers will rot from excess moisture. In the process of drying potatoes from time to time should be turned over so that they dry out evenly.
- Some gardeners believe that when washing tubers the natural layer is disturbed, which protects vegetables from spoilage.
How to wash potatoes
As a tank for washing the tubers of potatoes can be a bath or a large saucepan. It is desirable that the container used for washing potatoes is not previously used for other household needs, especially for washing.
Then you need to fill the potatoes in the bath and pour it with water at room temperature. Each potato tuber is thoroughly washed, without compromising the integrity of the peel. In the process of washing, the injured and sick potatoes are discarded. In addition, at this stage, you can sort the tubers - large for eating and small - for planting next year.
If you wash the potatoes in a container, the water needs to be changed several times until it becomes transparent. Alternatively, you can wash the potato tubers under running water. On a previously prepared surface, one should lay out the washed vegetables in one or maximum two layers. As a substrate for drying potatoes on the ground can serve as a metal sheet, board, polyethylene or cloth. The bottom line is that the tubers do not come into contact with the damp earth.
If the weather is hot, then 3 hours will be enough to dry the tubers. At the same time you need to turn the potatoes at least three times. At cooler temperatures, it can take up to 8 hours to dry. There is no specific time, it is important that the potatoes become dry. Then it can be folded in boxes and taken to a dark place.
After 10-14 days, the rejection of tubers should be repeated. After that, dry and washed potatoes can be attributed to the cellar. It is better to store potato tubers in wooden boxes or bags of natural burlap.
Features box for storing tubers
It is not necessary to buy boxes. They can be made independently from boards or wooden boards. To keep potatoes better, boxes must be double, that is, a smaller one is inserted into the larger one. In this case, 100%, you can be sure that the tubers will not come into contact with the ground. The bottom and the lid of the box should be double. Voids between the boxes can be filled with sawdust or foam.
From the outside, the box must be upholstered. This can be done with a piece of galvanizing, linoleum, plastic, or painting wooden elements. All these actions will help you protect the potatoes from moisture.
If you live in an apartment and the only place to store potatoes is a balcony, then if you cannot build a box yourself, you can purchase a special thermal container.
This design is essentially a double bag, which is made of durable fabric used for sewing tents. As a heater the strong synthetic winterizer is used. This thermal container also provides electric heating, providing a constant temperature inside it, varying within + 1 + 7 ºС. Such a device will fit very well into the balcony interior, as it has an attractive appearance. In addition, so you can protect your potatoes from freezing, even in the most severe frosts.
Some useful tips
The following tips will help you save potatoes until spring effortlessly:
- If you mix the potato tubers with dry bitter wormwood or common tear, you can protect the potatoes from rotting.
- Plants that produce phytoncides lengthen the shelf life of potatoes. Many summer residents peralazhivaya tubers fir or pine branches or rowan leaves.
- If you put fern or elderberry in the boxes with potatoes, it will rot less, and that means it will remain until the new harvest.
- Mint delays the process of banding potatoes. If she put the tubers, then the rings on them will appear much later.
- In an apartment at room temperature, you can store potatoes for 2-3 weeks, if you fold it in a bag of polyethylene and tightly tie.
So, to wash or not to wash the potatoes before storage is up to you. In the method there are both pros and cons. An objective look at this issue was provided in the article, but in order to expand our knowledge, we offer you to additionally view the video: