Enjoy home grown potatoes well into the late winter months by selecting the best storing potatoes. Learn what varieties are the best longest storing potatoes. By selecting the best potatoes for storing long-term ensures the garden’s bounty for many months to come.
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To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
Is there anything truer than this? I think not.
As a homesteader my goal is to own my food source, and this begins in the garden. Selecting crops which provide you the biggest bang for your buck is essential to the life we live.
For example, selecting the best tomato variety for canning sauce or paste minimizes the amount of growing space needed. Or planting winter squash which will allow you to store it fresh without having to freeze or can them. Another example, choosing the best storing potatoes provides you the ability to consume garden fresh crops well into the winter months.
In addition to keeping this root crop long-term, you will discover that many of these varieties are also excellent for canning and freezing.
Long Storing Root Vegetables
A well rounded garden will sustain you during the growing season as well as, provide you enough food to preserve or keep fresh. However, foods which will be stored fresh will require you to plant varieties which store well the longest.
This rings true to selecting the best storing potatoes, carrots, onions, and even garlic.
- the best long storing onions varieties
- the best long storing garlic varieties
- best storing carrots – Bolero, Chantenay, Imperator, and Danvers make excellent choices
Keep in mind, there is a fine line between planting a hobby garden to a sustainable one. As a sustainable gardener the focus is to plant foods which will provide the biggest bang for your buck.
The Sustainable Garden Workbook provides you the necessary tools to grow food as a sustainable homesteader would. Remember, each growing season is planted with the intention of preserving the harvest. Discover what this means in this 63 page workbook.
Many root vegetables, as long as the correct variety is selected and the correct conditions are maintained, will keep well for many months.
Aside from picking varieties which store well long-term it is necessary to store them in the right conditions. This particular root vegetable keeps quite well in a cool dark location, a cold storage or root cellar space is ideal.
Here are tips on how to ensure the potatoes harvested will keep long-term:
- select undamaged spuds
- do not wash potatoes being stored
- allow the potatoes to cure for up to 2 weeks prior to storing
- keep cured potatoes in a breathable containers to allow for proper airflow to prevent the accumulation of moisture
- the temperature of the cold storage space or root cellar should be kept between 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
- humidity will need to be 90%
There are many items available for keeping cured potatoes, and what size is needed will depend on the harvest.
- XL muslin sacks
- large baskets, wire bins, or plastic crates
- 10 pound potato bags
- stackable metal storage bins
- 3-tiered market stand
Regardless of the container used, it is the humidity and temperature of the space which will keep them the longest.
Best Storing Potatoes
There are many categories of potatoes available, however, not all store well long-term. Another option to storing this root vegetable long-term is to dehydrate it. The best variety to dehydrate is a waxy variety such as the Yukon Gold. Fortunately, Yukon Gold potatoes are also an excellent variety for storing fresh.
Potatoes are classified into categories, and with 7 categories and over 200 varieties available it is necessary to select the correct variety for storing. Luckily, there are varieties in each category which will keep quite well throughout the winter months.
New potatoes, or young potatoes, are just that, tubulars which have not reached maturity. These potatoes are sweeter in taste and have not yet become starchy.
Fingerling potatoes received their name due to resembling fingers. As tasty as fingerling potatoes are, many varieties do not store well long-term. However, the following varieties will keep anywhere from 4 to 6 months when stored properly.
- Rose Finn Apple
- Russian Banana
The varieties mentioned below will store well over 6 months under the right conditions. Make sure to check the storage bins regularly, discarding spoiled tubulars or consuming ones which have begun sprouting.
- All Blue
- Burbank Russet
- German Butterball
- Red Chieftain
- Red Pontiac
- Yellow Finn
- Yukon Gem
- Yukon Gold
Best practices state potatoes should not be planted in the same beds after 1 to 2 years, making crop rotation necessary for this root vegetable. Potatoes are heavy feeders and will deplete the soil of nutrients in the area in which they have been grown.
Another issue is disease. If a potato crop is diseased, it will spread, much worse, to the next planting of potatoes. Destroying not only one crop, but both.
The final reason potatoes should not be planted in the same spot more than two years in a row is due to pests which enjoy consuming this root vegetable. These pests will return each year seeking to consume and destroy a crop.
One last tip, seed potatoes (which can be purchased from seed companies) are disease free and ideal for growing. However, any remaining spuds from last year’s garden can also be used as long as they are in good shape and not spoiled.