Can potatoes be stored in the ground over winter? We tell you everything

If you grow potatoes in your garden, you will certainly end up with a large quantity, the storage of which very often causes problems. As you probably already know, these tubers tend to sprout quickly when stored improperly. That said, the web is literally full of clever tricks and miraculous storage methods. However, many people wonder if it is possible to keep potatoes in the ground. Is this a good idea to consider? To avoid missteps and not damage your harvest, I explain today if you can leave your potatoes in the ground.

Can we leave the potatoes in the ground?

As I mentioned above, potatoes tend to sprout quickly when stored improperly. As a general rule, eating sprouted potatoes is not recommended since the sprouting process increases the glycoalkaloid content. Thus, high consumption can increase the risk of poisoning. Here is why it is necessary to know how to properly store tubers in order to prevent them from sprouting. The ideal storage place is in particular the cellar (between 3° C and 7° C), but many people are trying to find out if it is possible to leave the potatoes in the ground. The answer below!

Back when potatoes were introduced to Europe, they were traditionally stored in pits dug into the ground. This method of preservation guaranteed abundant food during the winter. Today, keeping potatoes in the ground is not the most recommended method, especially in case of long-term storage. Why ? Then, the thick layers of soil will eventually become damp/wet and they will promote either the rotting of the tubers or their germination.

If you still want to try this method of storing potatoes, it is important to remember the right tips to ensure their good condition. Decryption in the following paragraphs.

How to store potatoes in the ground?

Can potatoes be stored in the ground? Yes, provided they are dry and, more importantly, out of direct sunlight. For your information, exposure to the sun makes the tubers green and poisonous. Here is why, it is essential to know well the rules of the composition of the so-called potato pit. Don’t panic, because it’s very simple. Here are the steps to follow below.

First, determine the right place where your pit will be built. Choose dry areas while avoiding those where rainwater tends to accumulate. Then dig a hole 30-60 cm deep. Its width depends on the number of potatoes you want to store in it. Then, spread an 8 cm layer of dry, clean straw on it and arrange the potatoes in a single layer. Cover the tubers with a new layer of thick straw, 30-91 cm. Finally, put the excavated soil back on top so that it completely covers the straw.

When the pit is built correctly, it should protect the potatoes for 120 days or at least through the winter.

Learn to store potatoes in an apartment

While it is possible to store potatoes in the ground, this method applies more to people who live in a house with a garden. What about people who live in apartments? The following good tips!

How to store potatoes in an apartment?

So, know first that the optimum temperature for storing these tubers is 8° C. Temperatures that are too high stimulate the premature germination of potatoes, which makes them unusable. It’s best to store your potatoes in a paper bag or cardboard box and put them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight. It is better to place them in the coldest room of your apartment.