How to Store Seed Potatoes
When you count on a bountiful potato harvest, it is imperative that you store your seed potatoes carefully. Seed potatoes are the potatoes you will plant to grow new potato plants. Because these are actually small potatoes, you must store seed potatoes at the proper temperature and humidity levels to ensure they stay viable. With attention to these details, your seed potatoes will be ready to plant when the growing season begins.
Line the shallow bins with the hay, straw or shredded newspapers. This will cushion the seed potatoes and keep them from touching each other as they sit in the bins.
Place the seed potatoes into the bins carefully to minimize bruising. Check each potato as you place it in the bins and discard any potatoes you find with obvious bruising or decay. Make sure the potatoes do not touch each other in the bins.
Place the bins in a well-ventilated area with temperatures between 40 and 42 degrees F. Optimal humidity level for storing seed potatoes is between 85 and 90 percent.
Store the potatoes in this location for as many months as necessary. As long as the temperature and humidity level is constant, the potatoes will store well.
Move the bins to a slightly warmer location with fresh air approximately one week before you plan to plant them. Ideal temperatures for this location are between 50 and 55 degrees F. This will break the seed potato dormancy and prepare the potatoes for sprouting.
Store Seed Potatoes
Potatoes are a staple of the American diet and are a common ingredient in many foods. While they are heavily cultivated commercially, potatoes are also fairly easy to grow at home. If you have grown potatoes in the past and are looking to get another crop started this year, you may have considered using seed potatoes. They are not a different kind of potato. The tuber grows larger underground to store food for the plant. The eyes of a potato then develop into new plants. However, most of the potatoes sold to grocery stores have chemical treatments so that they do not grow eyes while on the shelf. If you choose to move forward with homegrown seed potatoes, be sure to practice crop rotation, planting your potatoes in a different place each year to prevent disease. This is because diseases carried by these seed potatoes are likely to persist into another growing season. Store your seed potatoes in a cool, dry place that hovers around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, it is critical that potatoes have time to rest, so you should not move or expose them to light or heat during the storage period. Each piece should weigh about two ounces. Following these guidelines will maximize your crop yield.
- Large, shallow bins
- Hay, straw or shredded newspapers