How to Prevent Potatoes From Sprouting

Overview

Freshly harvested potatoes will store for approximately two weeks at room temperature, however large quantities of potatoes require proper storage to prevent sprouting. Store purchased potatoes are sprayed with a growth inhibitor to prevent sprouting and will last longer when kept at room temperature. Potatoes should never be stored in a refrigerator as this will convert the starch to sugar and alter the flavor. Potatoes reduce in quality the longer they are stored.

Step 1

Dig potatoes from the ground with a shovel or pitchfork. Carefully dig out the tubers to prevent damage. Brush clumps of dirt off the potatoes prior to storing. Place unwashed potatoes in a location with full sunlight for four to six hours to toughen the skin prior to storing.

Step 2

Place potatoes that are free of cuts or nicks in a cool, dark indoor location that does not receive sunlight. The area should have a temperature of 40 to 50 degrees F with an 85 percent relative humidity. Potatoes exposed to sunlight for extended periods will turn green and begin to soften. A wooden crate or bin works well for holding the tubers.

Step 3

Store the potatoes either alone or with carrots. Do not store apples with potatoes, as the apple will produce an ethylene gas that induces sprouting and bitterness in potatoes. Potatoes will store for four to nine months.

Step 4

Monitor the stored potatoes every two to three weeks. Remove potatoes that begin to sprout and eat them promptly as long as the potato is firm. Remove and discard potatoes that have wrinkled or rotted.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pitchfork
  • Wooden crate

References

  • University of Idaho: Potato Storage Research
  • University of Washington: Storing Vegetables and Fruits at Home
  • University of Ohio: Storage of Fruits and Vegetables
Keywords: store potatoes, prevent potato sprouting, harvest store potatoes

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.