The nuances of storing potatoes in a vegetable store: how to create optimal conditions for the harvest
It is important not only to grow a good potato crop, but also to ensure that it has the right storage... The demand for the product remains high throughout the year, so it is imperative that it does not lose its nutritional and taste qualities as long as possible. To create suitable conditions for storing potatoes in a vegetable store, take into account the temperature, characteristics of the vegetable variety, latent diseases and other factors.
The content of the article
- What should be a vegetable storage for storing potatoes
- Creation of optimal conditions
- Features of storage of ware potatoes
- Stages of storing potatoes
- Methods for laying potatoes
- Storage periods
What should be a vegetable storage for storing potatoes
For storing potatoes and other root crops, there are specialized buildings - vegetable stores, in which the crop is also processed and sorted. A rational and comprehensive approach reduces the percentage of losses even at the collection stage.
The storage of agricultural products, their quality and minimization of losses depend on how the storage facility was built and how it is adapted to fulfill its functions.
Modern technologies for the construction and operation of vegetable stores include:
- protection of crops from the effects of natural phenomena (moisture and thermal insulation of the building);
- safety of products from destruction by birds and rodents;
- the ability to constantly monitor the current state of vegetables;
- selection of optimal modes for certain zones;
- conditions for carrying out procedures for sorting, calibration, as well as differential storage;
- comfortable bookmarking and shipment of products;
- implementation of measures for disinfection of the premises.
At home, potato tubers for the winter are placed in storage facilities created under or above the ground. The first option is cellars with a depth of at least 2 m, equipped with a ventilation system and insulated so that the potatoes do not freeze.
The second option is ground storage facilities, equipped according to the same principle as cellars. To maintain the required humidity and temperature, a hygrometer and a thermometer are purchased. It is especially important to monitor these parameters when the outside air temperature is below zero.
Preparations for storing potatoes begin even before harvesting: 7-10 days before the start of harvesting, the tops are mowed, on the foliage and stems of which harmful microorganisms live. During this time, the potatoes ripen in the ground, their peel coarsens, so the tubers are less damaged when digging up.
If the tops are not removed, microorganisms get onto the tubers during digging, and then actively progress in the humid environment of the storage. The procedure reduces the risk of infection of tubers with viral and fungal diseases.
Preliminary preparation before sending potatoes to the basement:
- Potatoes are sprinkled on the ground for several hours to dry in the sun. Periodically, the tubers are stirred so that ultraviolet rays destroy pathogens of fungal and bacterial infections.
- They clean the vegetable from the remnants of the earth.
- They begin the next stage - sorting: the large one is selected for longer storage, the medium one is used as planting material, and the small one is used as feed for domestic animals.
- Damaged and unmarketable tubers are laid aside.
- Those affected by scab, late blight, wireworm and other diseases are immediately disposed of away from the site.
- The selected product for storage is treated with any antifungal drug (Fitosporin, Baktofit or other similar biological agent) and dried in the shade for several days.
When moisture has left the surface of the peel, the potatoes are placed in boxes, nets or bags and sent to storage.
Creation of optimal conditions
To store a vegetable, it is important that there is no damage, disease on the tubers, compliance with the parameters of temperature and humidity in the room, the presence of oxygen. It is required to constantly monitor the parameters - throughout the entire storage period.
The optimum storage temperature for potatoes at any time of the year is + 2 ... + 3 ° С. Only at this temperature are the tubers at rest: not sprout and do not freeze. When the temperature rises, they begin to "wake up": eyes appear, and then sprouts - the potatoes are preparing for spring planting. And in the peel and top layer, solanine is formed - a toxic substance.
If a temperature will drop to -1 ° С, the potatoes will freeze and lose their taste. The prepared dish from it will have a sweetish taste, since at low temperatures starch turns into sugar.
Attention! Frozen potatoes spoil quickly.
It is necessary to create optimal air humidity. When the indicators are kept at the level of 80 to 85%, the tubers do not dry out, which means there will be no weight loss during storage.
Keeping potatoes in too dry air will spoil their taste, become lethargic and lose their juiciness. With excessive humidity, there is a risk of rot, fungal diseases.
Ensure good ventilation without fail. It is advisable to use supply fans.
The floor of the vegetable store cannot be covered with a board, linoleum or cemented - in such conditions the humidity rises and a favorable environment for the reproduction of fungal microorganisms is created. It is advisable to use bulk materials, for example, fine crushed stone or sand - they absorb excess moisture well.
If the potatoes are exposed to direct sunlight, this will increase the concentration of solanine.
Important! Solanin in large quantities it is toxic and can lead to poisoning.
Many potato varieties should not be eaten if the tubers have been exposed to the sun for more than a day and a half.
Features of storage of ware potatoes
Storage conditions should be matched to the variety of potatoes, but there are general requirements for storing tubers intended for eating. Observe the temperature within + 1 ... + 2 ° С. This reduces the likelihood of developing harmful bacteria.
Raise temperature to room temperature one week prior to use or sale. This will allow the sugars to decompose, which will restore the optimal flavor.
If the potatoes are stored for subsequent planting, the temperature is kept at + 6 ° C. In such conditions, the tubers will be able to germinate. If strong and long shoots appear, the tops will develop much faster.
Stages of storing potatoes
At each stage, a different temperature should be maintained so that the potatoes do not spoil during storage.
It begins immediately after harvest, when the tubers go through the process of ripening and healing all damage received during transportation and laying. During this period, the taste improves and the rind becomes stronger.
For storage, you will need a ventilated room and dry air. During the month, the temperature is observed at about + 12 ° C. If heating equipment is used, raise the temperature slowly to avoid condensation.
Food crops need darkness and seed crops need light. At this stage, all potato defects will appear.Bad tubers are discarded, the rest of the potatoes are examined and prepared for the next stage.
The purpose of the process is to prevent the germination and spread of infection and mold. Seed crops are cooled to + 2 ° С, and table crops - to + 5 ° С. The procedure is performed smoothly: the temperature is reduced by half a degree per day. If this recommendation is not followed, the pulp may darken.
Reference. According to GOST, the temperature should be within + 2 ... + 3 ° С. But if storage is expected for more than 3 months, then this indicator can be raised to + 5 ... + 7 ° С.
Methods for laying potatoes
Loading potatoes into a vegetable store affects the degree of possible damage.
There are 3 main technologies:
- flow line - harvesting, sorting, calibration (selection by size), as well as loading into a vegetable store;
- transshipment - collection, keeping potatoes in temporary piles, sorting, calibration and unloading;
- straight-through - harvesting root crops and loading them into storage.
If the goods are not intended for sale in the fall, they are pledged using the direct-flow method, and in extreme conditions - using the transshipment method.
The in-line technology of bookmarking creates a large amount of mechanical damage, which leads to frequent browning of the pulp. Because of this, the waste when peeling potatoes becomes 2 times more.
The shelf life depends on the starch in the potato. The process of its disintegration is inevitable, but when the right conditions this happens later.
The average storage time is 6-7 months. The maximum shelf life is 10 months, and the minimum can be one week (under unfavorable conditions).
The duration directly depends on the storage location. Vegetable storage is considered the most appropriate option. There the potatoes remain usable for up to 10 months. But this requires good ventilation. By using containers, different varieties can be stored in one place.
The most common way is to put potatoes in a cellar. In it, you can create almost the same conditions as in a vegetable store, that is, the tubers can lie for up to 10 months. Only tubers with a thick peel are placed in the cellar.
Many people prefer to store potatoes on the balcony. In this case, the room must be insulated, otherwise the vegetables will freeze and lose their taste.
Potatoes are one of the staples in any family. To reduce losses during storage and maintain high quality, it is necessary to properly prepare the tubers, take care of temperature, humidity and other factors affecting preservation.