Anyone have any exp. with this or any other trick to prevent sprouting??
When I store spuds, they don't usually sprout much if they are in the fridge. I have some there now and its been almost 4 months. They do get a bit dried out and wrinkled, but don't seem to spoil or sprout.
Apples give off a gas that will promote sprouting of potatoes, not prevent it.
Dirty, dark, cool, dry.
We get a case of restaurant grade bakers from friends in E Washington twice in Fall. What I've learned (besides give some away before it's too late:) ) -
Don't wash them. Keep them in the dark, if the boxes have ventilation holes (good for the 'dry'), cover them. Keep them cool (I have an unheated basement with cool cement floor) but not cold. Refrigerator? What I'm told is that anything under 45o will convert the potato's starch into sugar, giving them a sweet taste.
But I have to admit, remember to share is important here (maybe our damp humidity?)...even being careful I can lose some before the two of us can finish a 50# box.
Did I make that sound like I meant cover the ventilation holes? I meant cover the boxes to exclude light, I use an old cotton tablecloth....
A green skinned potato is not a good potato and can become poisonous. Light tends to make them turn green, so keep them in the dark..
I concur with all the information given by morz8. It's supported by many sources.
I should have added that high humidity is good for storing potatoes.
High humidity is good? When I put mine in a dark humid closet, they sprout like crazy.
That's right. It is recommended that, for long term storage, potatoes be kept at 95% relative humidity. Of course that is also at a temperature of 40-45Â°F, which I doubt you have in your closet. Also, keep in mind that this is for long term storage and ideal conditions are not needed for the length of time most of us need to use up a 5 lb. bag of potatoes.
Do a Google search. There is a lot of information on potato storage.
Yup, there's no where 40-45Âº in my whole house even in dead of winter. I doubt the garage even gets that cold. ;) But humidity I've got.
Charcoal in with the spuds will help slow down the sprouting. I can vouch for it. Long, long, long ago when I was young, I spent some years in the Outback, where the trips to town for shopping (200 miles and more) were few and far between - like maybe twice a year. On each trip, food was bought in bulk - enough to feed 10 people, plus the occasional visitor.
Everything was kept in a special 'store room' which had no window. Potatoes were spread out onto the frame of an old wire bed so that they didn't touch each other, with pieces of charcoal here and there amongst them. Here, covered in dirt and in complete darkness for most of the time, they kept for months and months on end, and never a green one, never a sprout.
Believe me - it gets HOT in the Outback! Hot and DRY.
Potatoes should never be stored in the fridge. I forget the science of it (science is very forgettable for me!), but they undergo a chemical change making them more starchy. Or something.
That's a really interesting story about the charcoal. I've never heard of it. However, I would theorize that, since charcoal is often used to adsorb (that's right, adsorb, not absorb) gasses, it could adsorb ethylene in the environment of the stored potatoes. Ethylene, which someone previously mentioned, hastens ripening and such processes in fruits and vegetables. So it makes sense that charcoal might help to prevent sprouting of potatoes. I wonder who thought of doing that.
Actually, storing potatoes at a too cold temperature will chemically change some of their starch to sugar. You were on the right track, daisyduckworth, but heading in the wrong direction.
I don't understand the part about "covered in dirt". Please tell us more. Was this store room underground, like a root cellar?
As I said before, there is a huge amount of potato info to be found on the internet. Just search and you will find.
I heard storing them in a bucket of sand will stop sprouting,
no light, no air, no water, no soil, no nutrients.
never tried it...
Well----I used to grow great potatoes in my very very sandy soil. Now, I keep mine in the garage (unfinished) in a slotted type bucket with a layer of that black landscape cloth over them. We have humidity, too, so it's pretty good for potatoes, I guess. This reminds me----I need to harvest this year potatoes.
Storing apples and potatoes together goes way back. Farmers who grew both apples and potatoes for their family's entire year's needs did that (or I should say farmer's wives).
My mother said her mother always did that on the farm. I don't think the idea wa so much to prevent sprouting as to prevent spoiling. I have no idea what the gas is that apples give off, but it was supposed to inhibit spoilage. Carmellia
Ethylene gas. They actaully gas apples with another poisonous gas to stop the ethylene gas from being emitted from apples. These are what are stored in big warehouses for several months.
'Covered with dirt' simply means that they haven't been washed or scrubbed, and they still have the dirt on them that clung when they were dug up.
I've never seen a root cellar, so no, it wasn't that. The store-room was just another room in a row of other attached rooms built onto a concrete slab (like the main house) which had assorted uses - it was right next door to the school room on one side and the tool storage room on the other. The difference from it and the other rooms was that it didn't have a window - quite deliberate (it kept out much of the heat as well as the light). It was lined with shelves floor-to-ceiling on 3 sides. Much like a grocery shop, really.
I found this on the cooks illustrated website.
"Does Storing an Apple with Potatoes Make Them Last Longer?
In the "Stress-Free Spud Storage" sidebar to our September/October 1998 recipe for Classic Hash Browns, we found that potatoes remained in the best condition after four weeks when stored in a cool, dark spot as opposed to warm, well-lit, or refrigerated conditions. Your idea about the apple was intriguing, so we set up an experiment to see if we could improve on our original results.
We stored two 5-pound bags of russet potatoes, one with an apple and the other without, in a dry, dark, cool, well-ventilated spot and checked on both bags every other day for eight weeks. The potatoes in both bags looked fine until the three-week point, when one of the potatoes stored without the apple began to sprout. Two weeks later all but one of the potatoes stored without the apple had sprouted.
By comparison, the potatoes stored with the apple remained firm and free of sprouts, though a great deal of condensation had built up in the bag. At the eight-week point, when this response to your note was written, the potatoes without the apple were largely soft, shriveled, and sad looking. The potatoes stored with the apple, on the other hand, were mostly firm (small soft spots had developed on two of them) and looked good.
Dr. Greg Porter, associate professor of agronomy, and Dr. Alfred Bushway, professor of food science and human nutrition, both at the University of Maine in Orono, concurred that the ripe apple gives off ethylene gas as it respires. Simply put, the ethylene gas, as well as other organic alcohols emitted by the apple, suppresses the elongation of the potatoesÂ cells, which is what causes the sprouts to form."
Yep "covered with dirt" is the way we store them
here in Mississippi too, but we lay them out on a
cool concrete slab in the "potato house" and they usually
will keep till planting time the following spring.
Thanks, Melly. That's something I never would have expected.
Jim, It's pretty much the exact opposite of what I would expect. Who knew?
Everything I've read says that ethlyene gas PROMOTES sprouting. But this apple/potato experiment suggests the opposite.
We need more information about this!
Moisture plays an important role too, as well as the storage temps. I do not know if the apples and potatoes rerally work well together in storage. They certainly don't pack them together after harvests. Don't wish to get too scientific with the gas issues either.