Tips for Storing Potatoes Long Term Without a Root Cellar

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves start to change, it’s time to start thinking about how to store your harvest of potatoes for the long term. While a root cellar is often seen as the traditional way to keep potatoes fresh through the winter months, many people don’t have access to one. Fortunately, there are several other options available that will allow you to store your potatoes successfully without a root cellar.

Choose The Right Potatoes

When selecting which type of potato you’d like to store, choose those that have been harvested in late summer or early fall. These tend to be more mature and will last longer in storage. Some good varieties for storage include Yukon Gold, Russet Burbank and Kennebec.

Avoid Damaged Potatoes

Damaged or bruised potatoes are more susceptible to rotting than undamaged ones. Before storing them long-term, sort through your crop carefully and remove any damaged ones.

Clean Your Potatoes

Thoroughly cleaning your potatoes before storing them is crucial for their longevity in storage. The dirt on their skin can actually cause disease if left on while stored away. Gently scrub each potato with water until all visible dirt has been removed.

Dry Them Completely

After washing your vegetables make sure they’re completely dry before putting them into storage containers or bags. Moisture encourages decay so even small amounts of water can create problems later on down the line.

Pick A Cool And Dark Place To Store Them In

Choose an area where temperatures remain between 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4-5 degrees Celsius). This could be a basement or crawl space under your home at ground level since these places tend not fluctuate too much in temperature throughout the year especially when compared dining areas like kitchens which tends get warmer from cooking or heat from appliances.

Avoid Direct Light

Potatoes should be kept in a dark place to avoid the build up of solanine, which is a natural toxin found in potatoes. This substance can cause nausea, vomiting and other symptoms if consumed in high amounts.

Storage Containers

The proper container for storing your potatoes will help prevent moisture buildup as well as protect them from light exposure. Large plastic bins with lids are ideal since they’ll keep your vegetables dry while allowing good airflow around them. You could also use burlap sacks though you have to consider that they might not entirely keep out pests and rodents which may damage or eat some of the produce inside it.

Avoid Plastic Bags

Plastic bags don’t let air circulate properly which means that moisture will accumulate more quickly leading to rotting potatoes faster than normal so avoiding these helps reduce this issue altogether.


If you’re someone who doesn’t have access to a root cellar but still wants fresh tasting potatoes throughout the winter months there are plenty of alternative methods available. With just a little bit of effort anyone can store their crop successfully without having any spoilage occur before its time has come!

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