Potatoes not keeping

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Potatoes not keeping

Post by Bkeepr » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:23 am

Got a great crop of potatoes this year, maybe the best ever. I still have about 1/4 of the row undug yet, but have several hundred pounds curing. Many more baking-sized than usual, and fewer very small ones, they're absolutely beautiful and taste great, too. (We grow "Green Mountains" exclusively this year, our favorite all-round spud)

But this year, more than usual, I've got a large percent of taters rotting while they curing/drying in the barn. I don't know why, but it is early days for this to be happening. We did have a very wet spring and summer, but have had 6 weeks or so of almost no rain at all, the soil is bone dry to well below where the taters are when I dig them. It is a little disheartening. I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice!

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Re: Potatoes not keeping

Post by PHPaul » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:05 am


Back when I could grow potatoes (before the #)$(* Colorado Potato Bugs got so bad) I would dig them up, brush the dirt off them and immediately store them in an unlit corner of the basement in a bed of dry straw.

Light, moisture and heat are the enemy. Keep them dry, cool (50-60 degrees worked for me) and covered from even incandescent light.

They'd start getting soft by Spring but unless they were bruised when stored, I don't recall having any problems with rot.

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Re: Potatoes not keeping

Post by Krazngc » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:56 pm

I remember well, the potato patch! We always had a very good size potato patch each year dad would plow and work up so we could plant a new round of potato crop to feed us.

There were six kids, all girls and we worked like farm hands. I wasn't very old when I being the youngest started to help plant potatoes.

We cut up the potatoes we had been saving that had good strong eyes in them. Walk along and put a chunk of potato with the eye in the
trench that was dug.

We always had a great crop. We cleaned them of any dirt or mud that was stuck on them. After they were all dried and ready, we filled those old bushel baskets with the potatoes and carried them to the cellar. There they stayed until needed. I sure hated to go to that old dark cellar and bring back potatoes to fix for supper!

I don't know if everybody around was like us and were dirt poor! We were always busy, doing something that needed done.
We did what ever needed to be done. I am not exaggerating it was a hard way to grow up. One thing we never went hungry. I wasn't that old when I fixed lunch for people that had come to help with something in the field. The neighbors switched around helping each other with what they could. I am guessing it tasted ok or they were starving!!! Every bit was eaten.

We also milked cows by hand. We used a separator took the cream out of the new milk we had just retrieved. We sold cream to a creamy in Farmington Iowa. We put it in Cream cans and set them at the front of the yard. Sometime during the night a truck would bring our empty cans and take the full cans.

The worst part was milking when the temperatures were below zero.
I think that is partly why I hate cold weather so bad.

We survived, didn't get into trouble and we learned to think for ourselves.


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