Potatoes and onions should be stored in the dark cellar if possible. However, it should be noted that both vegetables do not harmonize well with each other.© exclusive-design / stock.adobe.com
Harvesting potatoes yourself is pure gardener happiness and a rich harvest also creates a supply for the winter. But gardeners often experience a nasty surprise. The potatoes start to germinate and then quickly become inedible. However, if you store your potatoes correctly, you will get through the winter well. You will now find out what needs to be considered when storing potatoes and what role the onion plays.
Potatoes make demands
The potato is not undemanding and if you do not pay attention to this during storage, you will not enjoy your cellaring potatoes. If the storage is too light and too warm, germs will quickly appear on the shell. These germs remove nutrients from the potato. This will shrink the tubers. The potatoes are still edible, but no longer a taste experience. With the sprouts, the potatoes are also increasingly green. These should be carefully removed because they contain toxins and are not suitable for human consumption.
If the potatoes are not stored properly, mold can quickly develop. If you do not regularly check your harvest, you can lose your entire stock. If a tuber molds first, this is quickly transferred to the other potatoes.
If you keep a few things in mind, potatoes will keep for several months.
Tip: Late potatoes are stored in September, you can stock early potatoes from June.
Harvest potatoes in time, but not too early
Hobby gardeners will know what we're talking about. The potato tastes best when it is brought straight from the earth to the table. Depending on the variety, the potatoes can therefore remain in the bed until autumn and you can simply harvest them as required. In any case, frost on the ground should not surprise the potatoes. The tubers are sensitive to frost and a few degrees below freezing are enough to rot the potatoes.
You can already get a first taste when the leaves on the potatoes turn slightly yellow. Before you harvest the potatoes for storage, it should be a few weeks after the foliage has died off. This period is important for the ripening of the potato. If the skin is firmer, the tubers are more storable and are less likely to rot.
What needs to be considered before storing the potatoes?
The potato harvest should be carried out in dry weather. It is also an advantage if the soil is dry and the mud and mud do not stick to the potato. Before storing, the tubers should dry completely in a dry and airy place so that mold and rot do not offer a point of attack.
Attention: Damaged tubers must not be stored. Cut out the affected areas generously and eat the potatoes as soon as possible.
Say goodbye to the sight of the sparkling clean tubers from the supermarket. These may be visually appealing, but the label often includes the addition "treated after harvest". The tubers are not only washed, but also treated with various substances, which should protect against rotting and make the potatoes longer-lasting. The potatoes intended for storage should not be treated. Dry soil on the bulb is not a blemish, but much better, namely a natural protective film against premature rotting.
Tips for correct storageLeave the soil on the potatoes as a natural preservation - © natara / stock.adobe.com
How to store potatoes correctly:
- frost protected
Potatoes should be stored in the dark. The ideal place for this is certainly the basement. Those who cannot show this can also store the bulbs in the pantry or in the garden shed. If the potato is stored too lightly, it starts to germinate quickly and the skin gets green spots. This indicates solanine deposits. This toxin can be found in the plant parts of all nightshade plants. Small amounts are not a big danger. However, you should not eat the potatoes and generously remove affected areas.
Warning: A high solanine concentration is noticeable in the bitter taste of the potatoes.
The potato is naturally inhibited. The breakdown of this inhibition of germs depends on the ambient temperature. This protection is removed after about two months. To prevent germination, the tubers must now be stored at the lowest possible temperature. A bit of tact is required here. Early germination begins at temperatures above ten degrees. If the tubers are below four degrees, the taste of the potato is impaired because the potato starch is converted into sugar.
Tip: The ideal storage temperature for the potatoes is five to eight degrees.
There should be no large temperature fluctuations. In any case, the potato should be stored frost-free, dark and airy. It is advantageous to store potatoes in a wooden box or a special horde. Storage in plastic bags is not recommended. The potatoes sweat in the airtight fabric and start to rot.
The potatoes should be checked frequently during storage. Tubers that begin to germinate should be used up as soon as possible. Potatoes that are rotten should be removed and disposed of immediately.
Tip: If the potatoes are airy on slatted frames, you can keep the tubers for months.
Storing potatoes next to onions - is that possible?
Potatoes and onions have a lot in common and both can be stored well. However, the two should not be kept together. Onions should also be stored dark, cool and frost-free. So it makes sense to store both together. However, you should not do this if possible, because the onions absorb the moisture of the potatoes and start to rot.
Then where with the onion?It's better not to store onions lying flat - © Michael Drak / stock.adobe.com
It is best to store your onions in a cellar at around one to three degrees. The air humidity should be around 70%. A hanging storage is recommended for the onion, so that enough air gets to the tubers. You can simply tie the bulbs together by their leaves and make small bouquets that can be attached to the wall.
Tip: Onions don't belong in the fridge. There they lose their characteristic taste.
Similarities and differences in the storage of potatoes and onions
Steer clear of apples or pears
Apples or pears are also not suitable as a company for the potato in the winter storage. Apples emit the ripening gas ethylene. As a result, the potatoes begin to ripen and rot more quickly.
Tip: The onion should also not be stored next to apples or pears.
Likewise, the wine rack should be a safe distance from potatoes and onions. Top wines only reach maturity within several years. After long storage, the wine takes on the strange smells and changes its taste.