Sweet potatoes are considered to be one of the most highly consumed root crops in the market. It is versatile, and it is appreciated for its tastiness and health benefits. While some people buy these root crops from the stores, others are left with some produce from their very own gardens and farms. If you are left with a basket from a harvest, you might think about how to store sweet potatoes and get away with it successfully.
The good news is that you don’t need to exert extreme effort to do this. To get you started, here are tips on how to store sweet potatoes without breaking a sweat:
Tip 1: SORT OUT YOUR CROPS
How to store sweet potatoes starts off with the sorting process. Search for potatoes with severe defects or bruises on it. Failing to remove the damaged ones will ultimately affect the healthy ones in no time because rotting can spread faster if mixed. However, the ones with minor damages can still be salvaged. You can cut out the damaged area of the sweet potatoes before using it; however, you need to consume this right away.
Tip 2: PLACE INSIDE A BAG OR BASKET
For a more effective outcome, find a container that reduces the circulation of air around the crops. This way, its shelf life is extended. Also, when you cover your potatoes, it becomes much secured from outside factors that may harm it (e.g. rodents and other insects).
Tip 3: STORE IN A DRY AND COOL AREA
It is very important that you strategically place the sweet potatoes in a cool and dry area. The temperature must also be put into mind if you want to maximize its shelf life. Under a typical room temperature or a small room with HPS bulb lighting, sweet potatoes can last up to a week or two, but if you want to stock it much longer, dark and cooler areas like your basement, cellar or even your garage are much preferred.
Tip 4: REMOVE OTHER VEGETABLES OR FRUITS NEARBY
When you are storing your sweet potatoes, always remove other fruits and vegetables nearby. There are instances in which these crops are put together, the gasses that come with it ultimately quickens their ripening process. Placing each and every vegetable and fruit in proper containers will eliminate any unwanted sprouting or spoiling.
Tip 5: TRACK THE CURING TIME
Typically, sweet potatoes become ready for use after 15 to 35 days of curing. Beyond this suggested curing process would mean that your sweet potatoes might end up sprouting.
Tip 6: KEEP THE MOISTURE TO A MINIMUM
Some are much comfortable when they wash their sweet potatoes using a garden hose after harvest. This is to rid it off with dirt on the sweet potatoes; however, drying must be done thoroughly to slow down its rotting process. The good news is that there is still another option when you want your sweet potatoes clean. With a dry cloth or towel, you can remove the excess soil from the crops. Though water is much effective, cleaning the potatoes with a towel makes them safe from the moisture.
Tip 7: CHECK FOR SIGNS THAT SIGNIFY SPOILAGE
At this point, although your sweet potatoes are good to go, take a peek at them once in a while. There are still instances in which one or two of them gets rotten. We wouldn’t want to spread the spoilage and make everything useless. When checking, look for symptoms of greening, sprouting, and rotting on the bodies of the potatoes; this is a clear indication of damage.
Tip 8: AVOID REFRIGERATING
Always avoid sweet potatoes from being refrigerated. Not only does this affect its ripening process, but this can also drastically change the texture and taste of the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes that are refrigerated tend to become harder and taste bad. However, if you can’t do away with refrigerating it, you must immediately consume it, especially when it is sliced or cut.
Tip 9: DEAL WITH CUT POTATOES RIGHT AWAY
Sweet potatoes that are cut are much prone to rotting as compared to keeping it whole. If you have leftover sweet potatoes, do not expose it out in the open because this spoils right away. The only thing you can do is to cook it immediately or store it under ice-cold water. Usually, at this state, it would only last for a day or two, so make sure to consume it the next day.
How to store sweet potatoes is really not that hard. It doesn’t require too much technicality and effort. How to store sweet potatoes is pretty basic; you just need to follow the tips above and wait for your potatoes to mature. Once you get used to this process, the next time that you bring home a bunch of other root crops, you’ll never have to read tips on how to store your produce anymore.
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Lucy - GardenAmbition.com Founder
Hi there! I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.