Pick the Right Variety
Some potato types store better than others and if you want a harvest that will last in storage, it may be best to plant one of them. These varieties include Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Katahldin, and Yellow Finn, among others.
One strategy might be to plant spuds that don’t store as well to use for immediate consumption, while also growing a more lasting variety to keep for the longer term.
Two Words: Cool and Dry
You’ll need a place with low humidity and cool temperatures. Your basement, shed, or garage may offer a spot where temps don’t exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity can often be managed with ventilation or moisture absorber containers.
Don’t Use Plastic
Wood, paper, and cardboard containers (bags, boxes, bins) will help keep the moisture under control, ensuring that your potatoes will last as long as possible. Storing your potatoes in any kind of plastic can result in moldy, mushy, spoiled spuds.
Curing creates a tougher potato skin, which helps to extend storage time to give your tubers the best chance at lasting the winter.
- Clean the dirt from your harvested potatoes, but don’t wash them.
- Remove any damaged spuds and set aside to be eaten but not stored.
- Spread the potatoes out in trays or boxes that are covered in newspaper or kraft paper.
- Cover potatoes with dark, breathable cloth to protect them from light while allowing air to circulate.
- Place your potatoes in a cool area (50F to 60F) and leave for a few weeks.
Place your cured potatoes in covered bins or boxes with plenty of ventilation. Use paper (tissue, newsprint, shredded mail) to layer with the potatoes. Again, check for and remove damaged potatoes as you box them up. Do not wash the potatoes before storing.
Properly stored potatoes will last from four to nine months in most cases, depending on how well humidity, temperature, and exposure to light are controlled.