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Potato Harvest: Phil Williams

How to Harvest and Store Potatoes

A simple way to store your spuds
Monday, September 1, 2014, 3:19 PM

Potatoes are an excellent source of calories that can be easily stored up for the winter. All you need is a cool, dark, humid place free from any rodents.

1. Dig up your potatoes after the plant has died back. Pick a dry day, and use a potato fork to carefully uproot your mounds of potatoes.


2. Do not wash the potatoes. It is OK to lightly brush off clumps of dirt. Be careful not to damage the skin.

3. Remove any damaged and small potatoes. These should not be stored as they will spoil the batch.

4. Cure the potatoes. Place in a single layer in an interim storage area for 2 weeks. The temperature should be 45-60 degrees in this area with 85-95% humidity. It should be dark as well.

5. Check again for any damaged potatoes.

6. Store in the long term storage area. This should be 35-40 degrees with 85-95% humidity. The potatoes can be stored in burlap sacks on shelves or in boxes layered with straw and stored on shelves. If you store in boxes layered with straw, make sure the bottom of the box has some holes for ventilation. Also, arrange potatoes in a single layer not touching. Then put layer of straw, then you can put another layer of potatoes. Do not store directly on the floor, as no airflow from below will be a problem.

7. Periodically check your potatoes. If any look damaged, or withered, remove them immediately, so they do not spoil the others. Smell them, many times you can smell them if any are rotting.

~ Phil Williams

Phil Williams is a permaculture consultant and designer and creator of the website foodproduction101.com.  His website provides useful, timely information for the experienced or beginning gardener, landscaper, or permaculturalist. Phil's personal goals are to build soil, restore and regenerate degraded landscapes, grow and raise an abundance of healthy food of great variety, design and install resilient permaculture gardens in the most efficient manner possible, and teach others along the way.

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Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2013
Posts: 324
root cellar

Can you do a video on how you designed your root cellar?  It looks great and I'm starting to plan one.

Phil Williams's picture
Phil Williams
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2009
Posts: 345
Root Cellaring
Thetallestmanonearth wrote:

Can you do a video on how you designed your root cellar?  It looks great and I'm starting to plan one.

There's a book called Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel that has some really good designs. I will see if I can put together an article as well.


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