So you live in an apartment and you want to know the best way to store your potatoes. Let’s take a look at the options.
What are the ideal conditions to store potatoes?
Let’s set out the rules for good potato storage:
- The temperature at 8 degrees Centigrade – 46 Fahrenheit. Much warmer will promote sprouting buds, which softens the potato. Colder than this and the flesh will turn black when frying due to the starch being converted to sugars.
- Well ventilated. Poor airflow around potatoes causes them to sweat. This promotes mold and potato rot. Keep out of damp, stagnant areas.
- Dark. Potatoes need to be kept away from sunlight or even daylight. If they are exposed to daylight the potatoes will turn green (this is known as sunburn) The green parts are chlorophyll – they contain a toxin called solanine. This will make you sick if you eat too much of it.
Storing potatoes in an apartment
So what unique situations could apartment living pose to storing potatoes. The following applies if you have harvested the potatoes yourself or bought them.
Ability to control the temperature
In some apartments, you may have less opportunity to control the temperature. The temperature of the apartment might be centrally controlled. This may mean you have limited control of the heating/ cooling. Perhaps the room will be warm and you cannot turn the temperature down. You could cool the room by leaving a window open but then you will be cold.
I would suggest leaving the potatoes in the coldest room of the apartment or in a dry area off the floor on the balcony outside. Ensure the outside temperature is not below 8 degrees, if it is keep them inside. If the temperature is warmer outside than inside, leave them inside.
Always store potatoes in paper or hessian bags which won’t let light through.
If your apartment has good ventilation and you have a cool room, put them in a hessian bag and leave them in there. If you have a warm apartment and no ventilation to speak of – put the potatoes outside. It will be cooler and there will be plenty of air.
If you have good ventilation but it is warm inside the apartment. Store your potatoes outside. The storage temperature is slightly more important than the ventilation.
Having a dry dark store
Often potatoes are put into a cupboard in their plastic packaging. This is not a good idea. Usually, it is too warm in the kitchen and the light turns the potato green. The plastic bag also sweats the potatoes and makes them rot.
A much better idea is to put your potatoes into a reusable hessian bag, put it somewhere dry in a shaded area outside, or in a cool room with good airflow.
For more great apartment gardening ideas take a look at some of the helpful tips in this Beginners guide to apartment gardening on the Redfin Blog.
So there you go – get your hessian bag and start storing your potatoes somewhere more suitable. Remember dry, dark, cool, and good airflow. They will last much longer and they will taste better for longer too!