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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Garden and Landscape

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Storing Onions and Potatoes

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2010-08-02          172754


This year I'm digging more onions and potatoes than ever before. I don't have my old farm house any longer with cellar. What is the best modern day way to store this stuff.

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Storing Onions and Potatoes

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2010-08-02          172756


No idea how it would work there but years past it was common to build a potato bank. You would use a dry place and cover the potato's with often burlap and then a layer of dirt. Some built like a little dirt house (sort of like the igloo dog houses) to hold the potato's with an opening. Not sure why stopped with unless refrigeration. At same time we don't have the deep freeze you do and normally our ground does not freeze. Funny, my wife and I were talking on this just a couple of days back. ....

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Storing Onions and Potatoes

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2010-08-03          172774


We've got the same situation as Yooper, more potatoes and onions, not to mention an abundance of tomatoes, green beans, etc., etc., than ever before. It must have been a good year for everyone with a garden.
When we lived in old houses with a "Cellar" that was always cool the storage of potatoes and onions wasn't much of a problem. We had a potato rack that looked like todays wooden pallets for airflow, and they kept fine till spring when the taters all starred sprouting. Todays houses like ours have warm basements that aren't vegetable storage friendly.
For right now we're eating them fresh plus the kids come after a Wally World bag of fresh potatoes about once a week, they all got real jobs, so no time for a garden.
But to the question about storage, we'll dig the rest after about the first of September and store them in the garage. Our garage is'nt heated, but is insluated and has insulated doors, so it seldom ever freezes in there unless it's 20 below for a coule days and the doors are only open long enought ot get a car in or out. By that time most of the potatoes are used up. ....

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Storing Onions and Potatoes

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2010-08-03          172786


I was able to plant over a month early this year, so the onions and potatoes are ready early. Also got carried away with the size of garden and have about 3X more than ever before. Normally, I leave them in the ground til Fall, digging only what I need. With all the hot weather, etc. I'm concerned with leaving them in the sun.

My basements are way too warm, and so are the garages and pole buildings to store them now. I used to have one dirt floor shed that we stored stuff in and covered potatoes with dirt as was mentioned during the winter. I had concrete poured in there as well.

Looks like I should get the backhoe out and dig a lean-to/cellar adjacent to one of the garages.

Was hoping for some new tech approach! ....

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Storing Onions and Potatoes

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-08-03          172787


Yoper;
Same thing happened here, early perfect weather spring. An over enthusastic old geezer that just couldn't quit planting stuff, I didn't mean your're a geezer, just me.
Some of the places my parents lived had a storm/root cellar in back of the house that we kept veggies in well into the winter. You have a good idea about digging one next to a building, that might be a good fall project here too. Nothing fancy just basic storage. ....

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Storing Onions and Potatoes

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2010-08-03          172790


If the basements are not fully finished spaces the solution is easy.

Preferably in the north-east corner, build a pair of walls and a ceiling, but no floor and don't cover the bare concrete basement walls except for the upper parts that are within 3' of the ground level outside.

Now insulate all the new walls very well, especially the ceiling and the portions of outside walls.

What this does is create a situation where the cold concrete floors and lower walls will act as a refrigeration system.

If you want to take it one step further put a small coil (a used A/C condensor coil works really well in a box with a small fan like those used to cool a computer blowing across it, and run the water line leading to a non-potable water use, like the washing machine or outside tap, through it. You will need a system to catch and dispose of the condensate. When you run water, the fan will use the cold water to a) remove humidity, and b) lower the temperature.

I did much the same thing in my parents new house and their 'cold room' never gets above 60 F.

Best of luck. ....

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Storing Onions and Potatoes

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-08-03          172791


One other solution, you may find some place that offers low price cooler space. Old grocery stores or produce farmers could. Another place they show on tv is a cave. ....

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