How to store potatoes in a pit in winter – an economical and effective solution for a large harvest
Tell me how to keep potatoes in a hole in winter? This year we just have an unprecedented harvest, although we always plant a lot in order to have our own planting material. But there is only enough room in the cellar for only half of the root crops. We thought what to do with the rest of the good, and I remembered that before my grandfather dug a hole and filled vegetables there. By the spring, nothing was spoiled. How to do it correctly and is it possible to keep seed potatoes there?
An earthen vegetable store is an undeservedly forgotten way of storing crops, especially potatoes. After all, it is this culture that we grow almost on an industrial scale and then puzzle over what to do with it. But our ancestors knew one secret, how to keep potatoes in a hole in winter. Thanks to him, the vegetables remained firm and fresh until the next harvest, and space was freed up in the cellar for conservation. But so that the fruits do not really freeze in the ground and do not rot, such a storage must be properly equipped. In addition, the contents of the pit itself must also be carefully selected..
The advantage of “pit storage” is, first of all, its availability. There is no need to build or buy anything, you just need to dig a hole next to the garden or right on it. And there is no need for boxes, because vegetables are in bulk.
Of the minuses, it is worth noting that the laborious process of digging up and even then, in winter it will not be easy to get potatoes. However, this may not be required if only seed potatoes and part of the crop are sent for storage, leaving the second one “at hand”.
What varieties of potatoes can be stored in an earthen hole
Any potato lies well in such a storage, but the timing depends directly on its species. Needless to say, early varieties are used for cooking. But the mid-early and mid-season ones will well lie for up to 2 months, for example:
- Peter’s Riddle;
The longest shelf life, up to 6 months, in some mid-season and all late varieties. These include potatoes:
- Gingerbread man;
It is very useful for both crops to store potatoes and beets together. The latter will “take over” excess moisture, which is “on hand” for it, and are harmful to potatoes. Lay the beets on top.
How to store potatoes in a pit in winter – we prepare and fill the storage
Arrangement of a pit requires only a good shovel and free time. Pick up a site that is not occupied by winter crops and always on a hill. You cannot dig such a storage in places where moisture accumulates, otherwise everything will rot by spring. Dig a spacious hole, deepening no less than 1.5 m. If the hole is shallower, it will freeze in winter and the vegetables will disappear. Now cover the bottom with a layer of straw about 40 cm thick and you can start filling.
Calibrated and dried potatoes, carefully, so as not to damage the integrity, lower them into the pit. You can use a long chute along which it will roll. To extend the shelf life of the tubers, sprinkle with onion husks. Then they will not germinate prematurely. Do not fill the hole to the top – leave at least 40 cm for the top layer of straw. Now it remains to close the storage with boards or slate and fill in a thick layer of earth (about 80 cm). Until spring, the potatoes covered in this way will lie well, will not freeze and will not germinate.