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As we all know, growing a decent harvest of vegetables, berries or fruits with your own hands is not so easy. However, the concern for planting does not end there, because it is necessary to correctly collect each type of horticultural crops, and then properly preserve or process them.
- Types and features of storage for potatoes
- Potato storage stages and necessary conditions
- Important storage conditions
Many crops require special storage conditions to properly store and preserve all nutrients.
Own potatoes, as you know, are the second bread for many gardeners. And it is very important, if not the most important condition, to create conditions for preserving the harvested crop for the whole winter and spring, to provide your family with tasty and healthy potatoes.
Types and features of storage for potatoes
Among the known methods and devices for storing large yields of this garden crop are used:
- Burty (this is a kind of mound of several layers of potatoes, covered for the winter with heat-saving insulating material). Burts are formed both on the surface of the earth and a shallow pit is dug out for storage;
- Pits (depths from 60 cm to 1.5 meters, the bottom of which is lined with boards);
- Trenches (rather deep, but their depth depends on the degree of freezing of the soil in winter);
- Cellars and cellars that do not freeze in winter;
- Specialized industrial storage facilities.
If you choose pits or trenches for storage, then you need to choose places on the site that are not in the lowlands, but on an elevation, where it is dry, there is no stagnation of water. Groundwater should be located at least 2 m deep from the intended storage location, otherwise the entire crop may rot.
Just in case, when arranging a storage for potatoes in pits or trenches, you need to take care of digging out gutters.
The device of piles and trenches does not require special expenditure of energy, but you need to carefully approach the choice of a place, the correct arrangement of such storage facilities in terms of the arrangement of underlying layers that protect the potato crop from possible external influences.
Of course, it is most preferable to create conditions for storing potatoes in a specialized store. With this storage method, you can always track the condition of your crop, change and correct storage conditions.
There are three types of specialized storage facilities: semi-deep, in-depth and ground. The first type is considered the best option - semi-deep storage. But in this case, you also need to attend to the search for the most successful place, without the nearby groundwater.
Potato storage stages and necessary conditions
The best temperature for long-term storage of a potato crop is considered to be + 2-3 degrees Celsius, while maintaining an air humidity of 85 to 90%. It is important that the room is cool, dry and frost-free during the particularly cold winter months.
Storage stages are divided into 3 periods:
- The post-harvest stage begins at the time of harvest and lasts approximately two weeks. At this time, it is necessary to ensure a temperature of + 15-18 degrees in the storage.
- The second stage should last at least 10 days, when potatoes should be stored at a slightly lower temperature than in the first stage - + 12-14 degrees.
- The third or main period involves a decrease in temperature to + 2-5 degrees.
In the first two stages, the tubers are healed of those injuries that were obtained during harvesting and transportation to the storage site.
Important storage conditions
A very important condition for the fact that fresh vegetables will delight you all winter and spring is the device of thermal insulation in the potato storage. For this, a variety of building materials with thermal insulation properties are used.
But the most important factor when storing crops is the ventilation of the room or storage area.
As you know, ventilation is of two types: natural and forced. Natural ventilation in storage facilities is achieved by using ventilation exhaust and supply pipes, and forced ventilation is used in very large storage facilities using various industrial devices.
Stores where there is a natural flow of air are usually equipped with bins or wooden boxes for storing potatoes.
When storing from the time of harvest until about February of the month, it is permissible to fill potatoes into bins with a filling height of about 1.5 meters. If you expect a longer shelf life, then the height should not exceed 1 meter.
In addition, you need to pay attention to the size of the tubers. The height of the filling of potatoes in the bins also depends on it: if the tubers are small, then the height of the filling should be less.
It will be necessary to install a couple of thermometers in the underground or cellar in order to be able to control the storage temperature. It is recommended to install one thermometer immediately at the entrance (at a height of approximately 30 cm from the floor), and the second - in the center of the basement or cellar, at a height of approximately 160 cm. To measure the air humidity, a psychrometer is also installed in the center of the storehouse.