Unlocking The Secret To Long-Term Potato Storage

by Tammy Taylor

Several weeks back a friend & I were talking about gardening.  Her family had a huge garden when she was growing up and they relied on it to keep them all fed.  But because she felt it was drudgery back then, she doesn’t care to garden much these days.  She was quizzing me on the different things I like to plant in my garden and I rattled off all the faves:  Tomatoes, garlic, onion, bell peppers, jalapenos, cantaloup, squash, green beans, etc.  She asked if I ever planted potatoes and I told her that in the past I’d planted them, but I could never successfully store them long term whether garden potatoes or store-bought.  I know that freshly-harvested potatoes have to be cured but even when properly curing them, they would sprout within a short time.  She was surprised that I had any trouble keeping them long term and told me that they just used to store their potatoes on the ground in the barn and they lasted all season.  I was intrigued…

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right. I need some advice! #TaylorMadeHomestead

I asked her if they lost many of their barn-stored potatoes to critters, but she said they never had a problem.  I asked if they stored the potatoes underground?  In loose hay?  On cardboard? In baskets?  She said they just laid a piece of heavy paper or cardboard right on the dirt floor & piled the potatoes on it – nothing else was done.  When they wanted potatoes for supper they’d run to the barn & gather a few – they never had problems with sprouting or potato-stealing animals and their potatoes lasted all season long.

Now usually when I have potatoes I follow all the traditional wisdom – store in a dark, cool, dry place with plenty of air circulation, away from onions or apples.   I have an airy basket in my walk-in pantry that I always use to store my potatoes but still in no time they begin sprouting.  But now armed with new ideas, I decided to conduct an experiment.  I had just purchased a small bag of potatoes so I took half of them & stored them in a cardboard box in our underground storm shelter where temps should stay cool but not too cold, and where it’s good & dark.

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right. I need some advice! #TaylorMadeHomestead

I took some of the rest and stored them on a sheet of newspaper laid on the dirt floor in an area of the barn where the cattle don’t have access.  Then I waited…

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right. I need some advice! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Six weeks later I went out to check on things.  The potatoes in the storm shelter were still firm but starting to wrinkle, but at least there wasn’t much sprouting going on.  Thankfully the temps underground stay more moderated because since I stored them down there we’ve had some really cold weather.

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right. I need some advice! #TaylorMadeHomestead

The potatoes in the barn were, well, GONE.  As I had suspected, some critter has been feasting on the all-you-can-eat buffet that I’ve apparently provided him.

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right. I need some advice! #TaylorMadeHomestead

My guess is this is the potato-stealing thief’s address…

Storing Potatoes Long-Term: I've heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right. I need some advice! #TaylorMadeHomestead
So, although the potatoes remained pretty sprout free in the storm shelter, they wrinkled more than I was expecting.  I’ve heard that you can store potatoes for months on end if you do it right.  I wish I knew the secret!  C’mon y’all, hook a sistah up – I need some advice!   How do you store your potatoes for the long term to keep them both firm and sprout free?

~TMH~

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86 thoughts on “Unlocking The Secret To Long-Term Potato Storage

  1. Katie

    Cool dark and dry seem to be the magic words! Going to try this myself, I always end up throwing potatoes away!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Yes, that’s what I’m thinking too Katie. So I just pick the darkest and coolest place that I have available to me and call it good… LOL ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Cassieoz

    There are some potato varieties that are better for storage than others so ask around if you’re planning to grow. Commercially, they’re stored in climate controlled sheds at 45-50F and 95% humidity with humid air forced up through the storage bins to prevetnt drying and shrinkage. There’s no way you can do that at home although I’ve read lots of stories of how easy it was to keep them good ‘when I was a girl’. I can’t help but think that the view back through the retrospectoscope might be a little rosey!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Cassieoz, I think you might be onto something there with the rosy retrospectoscope. LOL I know I’d never be able to replicate the methods used by the big commercial guys, all I can do is attempt get as close as I can with regard to temps/humidity. So far storing in the storm shelter has been the closest I can get – may need to be good enough! ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Amanda @ The Fundamental Home

    This is great! Not only was the post good, but the comments are great, too! Thanks again for sharing. I am pinning this!

    Reply
  4. Margy

    I missed this post the first time around. Thanks for including it in your top 10 list. I grow potatoes in barrels on my cabin deck. It makes enough for us to eat through the winter and leave for seed potatoes in the spring. My four barrels give a variety of sizes. We eat the smallest first. After letting them dry for several days, I store the medium and large ones. Here’s a link http://powellriverbooks.blogspot.com/2013/09/harvesting-and-storing-potatoes.html but basically I wipe any residual dirt off with a paper towel, wrap each one in a square of newspaper and place them in plastic trays with mesh sides. Each tray can hold two layers of wrapped potatoes. I cover the trays with flat newspaper. I moisten a paper towel and put it between the newspaper layers on top and check the spuds each time I take some out to cook. If the paper is try I moisten the paper towel again. I store the baskets under the bed in our guest room near an outside wall. It’s the coolest spot in the cabin even when the woodstove is going to keep us warm in the other rooms. My potatoes last from harvest in the fall through February or March for eating. The rest I let sprout to be my seed potatoes to plant in April. Plus, inside the critters can’t get to them. – Margy

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      ‘Tis good to know this method works for you Margy, I may just have to give it a try. I especially like the fact that no critters can enjoy them before you do since they’re stored inside. Thanks for sharing. ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. lisa M

    Well, did you ever catch the potato thief? lol Great story. Good luck figuring out the secret, I certainly don’t know it! (we eat our potatoes too quickly for storage to be an issue) Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you back this week! Lisa

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve never ‘seen’ the critter that hides in this hole in the barn floor LisaM, but I smell skunk from time to time and I’ve witnessed all manor of critters such as opossums and raccoons traveling through the barn from time to time – there’s no telling… LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. nola

    My aunt & uncle grew potatoes every year and we always got a 100# bag. The potatoes were put in what Uncle Doug called “the potato cellar” and I remember that they were just poured in. The room was dug into the side of the hill and had wood walls, ceiling, and floor. It was huge! Probably 30X30 and the spuds were just loose in there. Whoever was buying the spuds bought the burlap bag and then had to fill it themselves. When the bag was full you had about 100# of spuds. When we got our spuds home, we just stored them in the bag under the basement steps and grabbed whatever we needed for each meal. This was in southwest Montana 60 years ago. The one thing I have noticed today is that the spuds we get from the store sprout way early. And it doesn’t really matter how you store them. I even read an article about some twit who is trying to turn good old russets into GMO. He claims to be close even though spuds are already a good as they are going to get.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      What a great business model your aunt and uncle had – I absolutely love it Nola. I can’t imagine a 100# bag of spuds! But I think you’re right about the commercial ones – they really do seem to sprout no matter how you store them. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Yep, that’s what I always heard too Karen. And lots of people are keeping them in the fridge. I should certainly at least experiment with that. Thanks for stopping by. ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Karin

    I store potatoes in wooden bins in the cold room (concrete, like a cellar). The boxes are on castors, so they are off the floor, that might be a factor. I layer them with newspaper, and put a lid on top. Because I live in Canada, the cold room does freeze in winter, so the newspaper insulates them a bit. They do get sweet when they are stored for too long in the cold, I have read that bringing some out and keeping them at room temp for a week reverses that sweet starch problem. My potatoes don’t start to sprout until April or May, which is perfect timing.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I knew cold and dark were recommended Karin and I know from past experience you want them off the concrete floor. But I’d never heard you could reverse the sweetness from storing them too cold by leaving them room temp for a week. Interesting…. ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Trish

    Wow!! Ain’t know telling what ate your potatoes. I keep mine in the refrigerator. I have had a bag in there for more than two months now. I just took a few out to cook last Sunday and they were fine. On another note my dad planted peanuts and he said that the cat was in the garden scratching up his peanuts, chewing them up and spitting them out. He was so mad. I have never heard that before.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Wow Trish, too funny about the cat & peanuts. LOL. I’ve heard lots of people say they keep their spuds in the fridge, but I’ve also heard keeping them that cool causes the starch to turn to sugar making them oddly sweet so I’ve always been afraid of it. Maybe I should give it a try. ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. lisa M

    I blame the opossums. They’re always stealing food around here! lol I’ve actually never managed to grow enough potatoes to store very long. I do grow them in bags though….I wonder what would happen if you just moved the whole bags into the storm cellar? Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I’d love if you’d link up with us again this week! ~L

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I know we have opossums Lisa, and from the tale-tell aromas perhaps a wayward skunk as well. I’m currently experimenting with placing my potatoes in a large paper sack & storing them in the underground storm shelter – we’ll see how that goes… ~TMR~

      Reply
  10. C. Lem

    Ha! This is such a cute story. I guess the main trick to potato storage is keeping them away from critters!! I have a fairly damp basement and no cold storage, so tend to eat up my potatoes quickly instead. Thanks for joining us at Idea Box. This week’s party goes live Thursday at 6am ET!!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I tend to eat our potatoes as quickly as possible too, but I *KNOW* there must be a secret… I’m guessing in NE Texas it’s just so hot & humid during spring/summer that sprouting potatoes are just a fact of life… ~TMR~

      Reply
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  15. Angie

    I’m visiting from Happiness is Homemade Linky – great post! Thanks Angie PS – I also wanted to invite you to hop on board the Great Blog Train (blog hop) – we are traveling to British Columbia CANADA: http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/2015/04/the-great-blog-train-28-giveaway.html

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  19. JES

    Ha, I was hoping for the heavens to open and an answer to come! 🙂 I also have had bad luck storing potatoes. It makes me sick to throw away the shriveled, sprouted ones at the end of the sack… Hope you print an answer if you finally come into some solid info! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your detective work on the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      In a way the heavens have opened JES – I was hoping for lots of feedback and suggestions have been offered up from many folks, all from different parts of the blogsphere. I’m going to experiment with each suggestion until I find one that works for me in NE Texas! ~TMR~

      Reply
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  22. Audrey

    Potatoes in the garage in California is not an option – day time temps can get 80-90 degrees. I store small amounts in my bamboo steamer, but at most it holds a few pounds. I don’t grow potatoes for the main reason that there isn’t really a cool dark place to store them unless I try the hall closet. Saw this on Merry Mondays

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I think that’s my problem too Audrey, there’s just no place cool enough to keep them from sprouting. I’m experimenting with putting them in a paper sack in our underground storm shelter – we’ll see how that goes. ~TMR~

      Reply
  23. Anna@stuffedveggies

    I don’t garden myself, but I had a elderly friend who used to simply leave her carrots in the ground all winter and dig them up as needed (I think she cut part of the leaves off in the fall – but I’m not sure – I do know that she left enough to find them again!). If the ground was hard from frost, she’d put straw over the carrot section to keep them “dig-able” It worked great for her. I wonder if it would work for potatoes, too? As an urban dweller, I keep mine in the fridge when there’s room (and, no, contrary to the myth, it doesn’t spoil the taste. I worked in the restaurant business for a while, and their refrigerated potatoes taste great ; ) If there’s no room, I take my chances with sprouting.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Interesting, I’d always heard it makes the starches turn to sugar & make the potatoes sweet. Maybe it’s just an Old Wives Tale? ~TMR~

      Reply
  24. Kent

    My Mom’s an old farm girl from Sand Mountain AL, and I remember a trick she once described. Native Americans taught it to the settlers way back when. Basically you bury vegetables in the field, laid out in a clockwork style. Potatoes one direction from the center, turnips another, etc. You go to the section of the field where the potatoes are planted to dig up potatoes for example. This relies on the vegetables own metabolism to let them survive the winter. Naturally you don’t do this in the middle of summer, and you are not just leaving them in the ground instead of harvesting, they must be separated from their roots and at least most of their plant. Some, like turnips, actually survive better if you leave about an inch of their stalks attached. Do this in the fall when weather begins to get cooler, after the last harvest. This next bit is half remembered from an old Foxfire book I read more than 30 years ago. It dealt with storing potatoes in a root cellar. They had trays in the root cellar with, again, dirt in them. The potatoes were put in the trays. Two keys here, don’t let the potatoes touch each other, any that go bad will spread to other potatoes and should be removed immediately when noticed. Also you don’t need to bury them in dirt but nestle them down into it a little. Root plants are adapted to underground survival over the winter, so they can sprout next year. As long as it’s dark and cool/cold they survive longer there than any other method, unless they freeze. Not sure how accurate my memory is about this but it does fit in with what I do know. Never heard of the apple trick. That sounds good too. If it does keep the potatoes from developing eyes, that would be a big plus.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      You know Kent, I’ve heard about them being better preserved in sand & straw & I wondered why no one was bringing that up. And I love the other information you’ve shared as well, especially the burying of veggies in the field. Hummm…. So interesting. Thanks so much for your input, we can all learn from it. ~TMR~

      Reply
  25. Carol

    I plan to take an old freezer and bury it ( hight water table here, too) and use it for a ‘root cellar’ …don’t know if that will prevent withering or sprouting, but I’m trying it anyway!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve heard of that too Carol and what a great re-use for a dead appliance. I think the appliances have been made more safely for several decades too so I’m not sure how else to (or even if you need to) child-proof it further but I’ve read of the dangers of abandoned appliances being viewed as play places for children. But using underground storage should be very beneficial for climate control for your potatoes. Let us know how it works. ~TMR~

      Reply
  26. ColleenB.

    Now that I have a pot of coffee in me I can think a little better. I used to do this as well as my mom and that we stored our onions in old panty hoes and don’t know why this wouldn’t work for potatoes as well. ( lets air movement go through and the potatoes aren’t touching each other). Drop in a potato, tie a knot, drop in another potato, tie a knot and so on and they we hung them up on a nail, over a rafter or whatever. By tying a knot between each onion they weren’t touching each other and never received any soft spots

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I store my onions in panty hose like that too Colleen. You’re right, they last a super-long time. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Burlap. Genius! Colleen, you’re so filled to the brim with good advice!! ~TMR~

      Reply
  27. Jennie@ TheHousewifeModern

    I’ve been reading through all the comments- I can’t believe people have so many different ways to store potatoes. I’m stuck in military housing, so a cellar isn’t an option (at least here in WA state). I store mine in a dark cupboard…but I usually leave them in the plastic bag AND it’s in the kitchen. After reading all these comments, though, I think I’m going to move them to my pantry. And a different bag. Jennie p.s. Found your blog via “Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop” on Recipes for our Daily Bread. Planning on going to check out your Pinterest page right now!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      You’re right Jennie, so many different methods of storing. Right now I’m experimenting with the method one commenter shared – I poured my potatoes into a paper sack, rolled the top to close & I placed them in my underground storm shelter on a piece of cardboard. If at first you don’t succeed… 😉 So glad you stopped by today! ~TMR~

      Reply
  28. cranberry morning

    This just cracked me up! I thought you were going to give us the coveted secret to successful potato storage, and instead we get a peek at Templeton’s doorway. Lol. I’ve been trying to figure it out for years. Good luck. I do know that potato farmers around here store them in big barns. Maybe they keep lots of cats on hand. 🙂

    Reply
  29. Just Plain Marie

    It’s funny to see the differences that location makes – if we left potatoes in the barn, they’d spend several months frozen solid and then turn to mush when they thawed. 🙂 For us, seasonal eating with potatoes would be: Enjoy some tiny new potatoes in July before the main crop. In September, harvest the potatoes and pig out. Potato season begins. Around February, they’re getting soft – get out the deep fat fryer and let french fry season begin. When they aren’t edible anymore, no more potatoes for a while. Time to start working through whatever else is left in the pantry. The ones that sprout get set aside for planting as soon as the ground is workable in late March. Until July ….

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I think you’re right Marie – seasonal eating is best. Like you, I try to eat the potatoes based on their condition. I’ve even been successful cooking/mashing/freezing potatoes for future side dishes. I don’t know how everyone else does it, but for me long-term storage’s apparently not meant to be. LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. Just Plain Marie

        Well, my parents kept their potatoes in a dark, cool cellar, and Mom says they never lasted into March. Oh – if you want them to last a little bit longer, go through them every few days and pick off any eyes. Unless you’re going to plant them, of course.

        Reply
  30. Terri Presser

    Thanks for sharing this post at Good Morning Mondays, we have potatoes to store so the hints are much appreciated. We were thinking of putting them in a wooden box in our shipping container, so we will see how that goes. Blessings

    Reply
  31. Shirley Wood

    My mother never approved but I have always kept potatoes in one of the vegetable drawers in my refrigerator which will hold about 10 lbs. They keep for an amazing amount of time. It would take quite a few months for them to shrivel or grow sprouts. I know it unconventional but I have always done it that way and I’ve been keeping house for close to 40 years. I have never had a problem and they keep for a good long while.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve always heard keeping them in the fridge turns the starch to sugar and makes the potatoes taste oddly sweet, so I’ve never tried it before. Maybe I need to! Thanks for the tip Shirley. ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. Carol

        So what is the difference in storing them in the ‘fridge or a cold place? Seems if cold is the common denominator, that storing them cold ANYWHERE will turn the starch to sugar???

        Reply
        1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

          I dunno Carol, that’s just what I’d always heard – that storing potatoes in the fridge makes the starches turn to sugar. Maybe it’s just an old wives tale? (I see a side-by-side experiment in my near future!) I will say that my fridge is set to 35 degrees (I think that’s standard) and since we keep our home pretty warm in the summer our thermostat is set to 78 or so for pantry storage. The coolest outside storage I’d have available to me during spring/summer/fall would be our storm shelter, which may get down into the 70’s – 80’s or so in temperature during our hot/humid Texas summers. That’s a 40-degree (ish) temperature difference between fridge storage and ‘cool’ storage for us, although folks in different regions would have different experiences. I’m excited to read everyone’s suggestions. ~TMH~

          Reply
    2. Don the Gardener

      I have rotated basement aging potatoes to the refrigerator crisper drawer. (stuffed in a black silk dress) I forgot about them. 2 months months later. I steamed them and they were the best potatoes I have ever eaten. Hooray for starches turning into sugars!

      Reply
  32. Jes @ Deadpan Diaries

    You have hit on one of the universal questions for the ages! I, too, share this problem with early-sprouting potatoes:) Found your blog on Inspire Me Mondays link party…really enjoyed your post:)

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I know Jes, & I’m afraid it may be a question to remain unanswered for me… My guess is that my pantry doesn’t stay cool enough with the heat & humidity of our NE Texas summers, maybe it’s just not meant to be… Thankfully potatoes are inexpensive to purchase and I’ll probably continue to plant the small red potatoes anyway (they remind me fondly of my grandmother), but for the most part I’ll probably just purchase my potatoes. ~TMR~

      Reply
  33. Jack

    I keep my potatoes in the pump house temp at 38 -40 degrees covered so no light gets to them. Light causes them to turn green. I stored them last Oct. and they are as hard and good as the day I stored them. When the weather gets warm in mid June the start to sprout then.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks for the tips Jack. Although our pantry is the coolest place I’ve been able to keep the potatoes, I’m thinking maybe it just doesn’t stay cool enough. I’m hoping to try out using the underground storm shelter this year to see how that works. ~TMR~

      Reply
  34. Connie Sartain

    I don’t know if any of this will be helpful as I live in southern Qregon zone7. Average bottom temp 20 degrees and not much snow in winter. I grow a late crop of potatoes in an big raised bed and for the winter I lay down an 6 inch mulch of leaves on top of the ground and pin a tarp over that and just store the potatoes where they grew. And I go out and pull some out as we need them but our ground doesn’t freeze. It works well in zone 7. Also I have Carole Deppe’s book, “the resilient gardner” and she says she boxes her potatoes in cardboard apple boxes and wraps the boxes in burlap or old blankets and stores in the unheated garage, also in zone 7. You might look into types of potatoes too. Perhaps some of the old variety dryer blue potatoes or the like might store better naturally as modern day varieties aren’t bred for storage. Don’t know if that helped any but I sure enjoy your posts. <3

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I live in Zone 7b Connie, so your comments are certainly helpful to me. I’ve never covered the boxes or anything, just stored them loosely in open baskets in my pantry. My main problem I think is during the warmer months, it’s just not cool enough to keep them long term without them sprouting & I’ve always heard not to store them in the fridge as the starches will turn to sugar. So I typically just buy them & focus on consuming them until they’re gone. Sounds like that may be as good as it gets for me. LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
  35. Elle Mental

    A dark, cool place with high humidity is good for storing potatoes, but if you want to keep them from sprouting it will take an apple. Where apples cause other fruits and veggies to ripen too quickly, the ethylene gas in apples actually keeps potatoes from sprouting. If you want sprout free potatoes just put an apple or to in your potato bin.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Really? I’d never heard that, I always thought you had to store potatoes away from apples. Thanks for the tip. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I think I’m using these steps. Not sure what’s missing for me, I’ll dig deeper. Thanks for the link. ~TMR~

      Reply
  36. LindaG

    Well, I know how you feel. We live in an old farmhouse in Central Louisiana. No air conditioning, and the water level is just a couple of feet down, so no root cellar without a fortune. I may just try putting them in the barn, in spite of possums and coons. Hopefully the rat snakes will keep the mice away. Now I need to just not forget I put them out there! Thank you!

    Reply
      1. LindaG

        Well, I know my pantry doesn’t stay anywhere near 40 degrees (which I believe is the optimum storage temp); except in winter. The friend who first told you about keeping potatoes in the barn, what state does she live in, if I may ask. Something my son brought up, Louisiana is a humid heat, in the summertime, so not sure if that is a drawback for storage or not. Thanks for the great post, and have a Blessed Easter. ♥

        Reply
        1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

          Linda, my friend grew up in southern Oklahoma, only a short drive from here. I’m wondering if they just went through their potato stash quickly to feed the family. She was a child & didn’t really pay attention to any of the details so perhaps that’s the case. She did call her father when I questioned her about the specifics of barn storage & he clarified the conditions for the barn. ~TMR~

          Reply
          1. LindaG

            I can think of so many things I wish I had paid more attention to as a child. Maybe I’ll cut a hole in the floor and store them under the house! Thank you again and have a great day.

  37. Patti

    Tammy, I make sure mine are dry and then place them in a paper grocery bag. I fill the bag up about 1/2 full (fold the top of the bag down) and use another after that. I then take the bags and place them in a large pickle crock. The crock is in hall pantry with a shared garage wall. I’m been doing this for years and have had wonderful luck! I also have a small dish of baking soda in there for any odor and not sure if that has anything to do with my luck or not. May you and your family have a wonderful Easter!! Patti

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I don’t have a large pickle crock Patti, but I may look for one. I really like this idea. ~TMR~

      Reply
  38. shirl

    I have pretty good luck w/our potatoes. I put them in the garage, in a wooden box after they have dried out(curing), and be sure to dry away from the sun. I put them in and after the weather gets really cold, down in low 30’s and 20’s, I throw an old blanket on top..just in case It gets to freezing point in garage. I keep a watch on the cat’s water, if it has ice on it, check the potatoes! so far no problem. but as winter progresses, the potatoes will naturally start to sprout. nature doing it’s thing 🙂 just peel & eat the sprouts do not harm the potato. thing is by feb, the do start sprouting, getting ready to be planted. my seed potatoes I use yr after yr. good luck

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Cool & dark are the perfect conditions to keep them long term. I know it’s dark in there but maybe my pantry doesn’t stay cool enough. Hummmm… ~TMR~

      Reply
  39. Cindy McElroy

    Hi Tammy. I really enjoy reading your blog. I’ve learned a lot! We are working on the “potato issue” right now, too. My husband built a wood and wire box in the mudroom. We are waiting to see how it goes.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I “think” I’m doing everything right, but dang I can’t keep potatoes (home grown or commercial) from sprouting quickly. There must be a secret! ~TMR~

      Reply
  40. ColleenB.

    Looks like something had quite the feast. Wild boars, field mice, raccoons and even white-tailed deer could had eaten your potatoes. Keep them dark, and keep them cool, dark and well ventilated place. Don’t store them near onions, bananas, or other fruit — this will encourage them to sprout faster. If you have a dark, cool closet away from the heat of the kitchen, store them there or on the top step of your basement stairs. Also, it’s best to take them out of the plastic bag and put them in a basket or breathable cotton sack, wire basket or brown paper bag with the top of the bag rolled down but don’t close. Finally, make sure they are totally dry before storing long-term. Damp potatoes will rot or sprout faster. Before storing spuds, look them over and use any bruised ones first. Since dampness can cause decay, it is best not to wash spuds before storing. A person could also make a cheap potato bin to store them in. Me, I store mine in the refrigerator. I know, it’s a no no but I go through them pretty fast making and freezing steak fries, French fries, etc.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Absolutely Colleen, something sure enjoyed the meal(s). I know there’s a skunk family that lives nearby, perhaps under the barn through the holes I showed pictures of. Wonder if skunks are partial to potatoes… LOL. I typically use all the tricks you mentioned, but still my potatoes always spout quickly. The storm shelter potatoes didn’t sprout after 6 weeks and I love that, but they still wrinkled more than I thought they would. (They’re still firm, just wrinkly.) The saga continues… ~TMR~

      Reply
    2. Jennie@ TheHousewifeModern

      I just saw someone posting about breathable cotton bags on Google+ the other day. When I asked, she said she sews hers. I think I’m going to try the same thing. But wanted to ask someone else: where do you get yours? Jennie

      Reply
      1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

        Jennie – I got this response from Colleen but she accidentally responded to the comment notification email instead of posting the comments so it wasn’t showing in the comments section on this post (but it’s pretty darn good advice!) Colleen writes: “UM, if you have old pillow cases that would work and no sewing involved :} or if you ever have a chance to go to a Good Will store that’s also a good place to find old sheets and pillow cases. Old sheets are also good if you want to cover any plants in the winter. It protects them plus they still get air through. Never use plastic tho to cover winter plants but I’m sure you already knew that. Or if you saved any of them so called net bags that onions, etc. come in, they I think would also work” Colleen

        Reply

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