Can I store my potato harvest in a bucket of sand? Some people tell me yes, but it must be dry sand. Others tell me yes, but it must be moist sand. I can't do a cool/dry place, as my basement gets very damp and my garage gets very cold in the winter (I live in Rochester NY). Does anyone out there have an answer? hopefully one based on your own experience. Thanx u guys, I love ya!
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Amy from Rochester, NY
When my kids were small we bought potatoes by the 100 lb. bags and we just stored them in the basement of our house. When we bought the house my husband built a fruit cellar under the stairs and on the two outside walls he installed foam sheets of insulation and that is where we stored all of our home canned goods, and the potatoes.
What he did was under one of the bottom shelves he built a mini wall and we just dumped the bag of potatoes into that bin to keep them from rolling all over. I have never heard of storing potatoes in sand, wet or dry. My parents or my in-laws never did anything like that. I also picked my green tomatoes before the first frost and wrapped them individually in newspaper and put them in a cardboard box in the fruit cellar and we had ripe tomatoes in November. I live in SD and we aren't exactly known for moderate weather conditions. (08/19/2010)
Try some in both places in dry sand and see what happens for you in your circumstances.
You could call a college/university agriculture department and ask them for your area. (08/20/2010)
I don't know about storing in wet or dry sand, but here's an excellent PDF that should give you enough information to know how to store for your particular circumstances :-)
Redhatterb, just sharing that my mom's paternal grandparents homesteaded in the Black Hills near Lead in the early 1890s to the mid 1930s and they stored their taters and assorted other harvest in the caves/caverns there on the limestone during the fall, winter, and spring which worked as a perfect natural cellar back then, so I can completely relate to what you're talking about ;-)
When I was a kid, we stored carrots in containers of sand. The sand was dry. It worked great and the carrots lasted all year this way. (08/20/2010)
I grew up in northern NY. Our cellar was damp, stone walls and a dirt floor. The furnace was in the cellar. My dad stored potatoes in an open wooden box away from the furnace in the cellar. They would start to sprout by spring, but stayed firm and we ate them until the next harvest. (08/21/2010)
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