Some crops produce ethylene in storage—apples, cantaloupes, ripening tomatoes, already-sprouting potatoes all produce higher than average amounts. You’ll be amazed at how well this easy tip works! When left in storage for too long, potatoes can begin to sprout, creating debate as to whether they're safe for consumption. Last Updated: November 5, 2020 Avoid keeping potatoes in the fridge. Bring the seed potatoes into a warm, well-lit room around 65°F–70°F (18°C–21°C) and set them upright in shallow boxes, rose end (where the eyes are) up, stem (belly-button) down, for 2–4 weeks in spring, 1–2 weeks in summer. If they’ve started to shrivel, sprouted potatoes are fair game for my earliest planting, which is started indoors. If you don't have a cool, dry, and dark place in your kitchen, try storing the potatoes in a closet instead. Potatoes are more likely to sprout if they are: • Near fruits, vegetables, flowers or damaged produce. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. There are three key stages of potato storage, and they require different conditions, if you are to make a success of long term potato storage. They are all long and then We had a lot of rain. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Below 40°F (5°C) some starches convert to sugars, giving the potatoes a bad flavor and causing them to blacken if fried. But, unlike seedlings, they do not need a growing medium like soil to sprout. On the other hand, some people found that keeping an apple or two with potatoes will keep sprouting at bay. As you may have noticed with your potatoes, tubers sprout. “The reason why potatoes sprout,” explains Jenny McNally, “is because if it’s warm, the potatoes can be tricked into thinking it’s spring. Chitting or greening up potatoes is standard practice with my main crop, but seriously sprouted potatoes demand immediate attention. But if the sprouts are long and the potato has shrunk and wrinkled, then it is best to throw it out.” Just curious – why are the sprouts called “eyes?” Dr. Douches: … I have no idea if their conditions follow the right ones. Ethylene is associated with ripening, sprouting and rotting. When a potato starts sprouting, it's just doing what potato plants do—growing and making more potatoes! To learn more about planting sprouted potatoes, read my article here. The sprout will then begin to develop a green stem and leaves in order to utilize the sunlight. Once that sprout reaches light, chlorophyll production begins. The temperature goal is 60°F–75°F (16°C–24°C), with 95% humidity. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. By using our site, you agree to our. wikiHow's. "White" or Peruvian potatoes (sometimes called Irish potatoes) are stem tubers in the nightshade family; sweet potatoes are root tubers in the Morning Glory family – completely different. I have had a great crop of sweet potatoes every year for 10 years. OK, I’ll admit that I’ve heard about this trick to keep potatoes from sprouting here and there over the years and I’ve completely ignored it. • Near malfunctioning propane or natural gas heaters that produce ethylene. She is the author of Sustainable Market Farming and The Year-Round Hoophouse. All they need is … After harvest, for the next two weeks, your root cellar or other storage space will need 6–9 hours of ventilation every two or three days. I mean, really, I always thought that potatoes just didn’t like me. If you notice the skin turning green, cut it off before you cook and eat the potato. They will heat up if left closed in, and could develop black centers, where the cells have died from lack of oxygen. If you store your potatoes – especially homegrown potatoes in a warm location, they won’t sprout because they need a period of cold first. This is how many of these plants come back in the following years, allowing the species to thrive. And like any good parent, the potato wants its family to stay safe. Already a Member but By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only). Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! % of people told us that this article helped them. When the potatoes are harvested after the skins have toughened, there will be less damage during harvest. Their sprouts are between 2 and 3 inches tall now and I don't think it is even close to potato planting time here(PSW). As long as they are warm enough, potatoes will quickly begin to sprout. This article reviews whether it's safe to eat sprouted potatoes. don't have an online If you have ever grown a potato in your backyard garden, you know for sure that if potatoes are not stored in a cold, dark place, they immediately sprout -- huge, long sprouts. Once I separated them my potatoes lasted twice as long. Felicity Cloake’s Christmas roast potatoes, brussels sprouts and bread sauce. Roast potatoes are, let’s be honest, many people’s favourite bit of Christmas dinner – when they’re done well. Read all of Pam’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here. Potatoes are a little like seedlings in that they need light to grow. But, sweet potatoes, despite their name and appearance, come from an entirely different plant. As a potato sprouts, it converts starch to sugar in order to feed the new potato plant that will grow from the erupting sprouts. And finally, make sure they are totally dry before storing long-term. If you experience any of these, contact your health care provider immediately. Try a few to see if they are tasty. Avoid keeping potatoes too long during late winter/early spring; this is the time when they want to sprout because they want to grow. Reply. Simply remove the sprouts and any soft spots, and your potato should be fine to use in a recipe. Use common sense, if it doesn’t look good, it probably isn’t. So long as each piece you cut has at least two eyes, you can cut as many pieces as you'd like. When a potato begins to sprout, the starch inside the potato converts to sugars enabling the sprout/plant to grow. Why do potatoes sprout? If you have a problem with potatoes sprouting before you are ready to cook with them, try this simple solution. Try hard to avoid having the cellar cool down, and then warm up. For this reason, most home gardeners use seed potatoes (sprouted potatoes) to grow new potato plants. Ethylene is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless gas produced by many fruits and vegetables, and also by faulty heating units and combustion engines. Note that, to the potato, it's all the same whether the death of the tops is due to frost, mowing or the natural end of the plant's growth cycle. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Restack your crates or boxes, remembering to keep airspace between the crates and walls. Most of the nutrients are still intact in a firm, sprouted potato. These chemicals act as a natural fungicide and pesticide for the plant, but are toxic for humans. Pam Dawling has worked at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for more than 27 years, growing vegetables for 100 people on 3.5 acres and training many members in sustainable vegetable production. So is there a way to get potatoes to sprout on demand? It is not safe to eat potato sprouts on soft potatoes, though firm potatoes with sprouts are typically safe and can be used once the sprouts have been cut away. Enjoyed the info on storing potatoes. My best luck with growing a Sweet Potato Vine – when the potato shows a white sprout, cut a slice of potato including the sprout, lay it sprout … This works better than harvesting and then curing. Whether the washing tends to remove something the potato has in it that decelerates the sprouting process or it's just an accumulation of moisture, washed potatoes don't last as long as those that came straight out of the ground and went straight into storage. How many pieces can a potato with sprots be cut into for planting? Potato sprouts contain toxins that can sicken people. Not the most thrilling question but I've just had to throw away some badly sprouted potatoes. Most of us are aware that we shouldn’t eat green potatoes. Too much light, especially sunlight, can cause the potatoes to start sprouting. This is fine, as long as you’re ready to plant them in the next 7 days. But what about when they turn green? Canadian Subscribers - Click Here Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Case 1. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. why are my onions sprouting in my pantry?! Inspect potatoes, looking for sprouts and green peels. So, sprouts, which are vulnerable once they emerge from the soil, come equipped with defensive toxins called glycoalkaloids. Steve Albert. So, if my onions are dead…. The one time you do want potatoes to sprout is before you plant them! If you are thinking of saving your own seed potatoes for a second planting in the same year, read this paragraph. If you have a dark, cool closet away from the heat of the kitchen, store them there. If you want your potatoes to sprout, then store them in a warm, damp, light environment. Curing allows skins to harden and some of the starches to convert to sugars. If some of the potatoes are already sprouting when you buy them at the store, they are old potatoes. What Potatoes Need to Sprout. If you don't, you'll risk the rot transferring to the rest of the potatoes. Never leave potatoes stored in plastic; this encourages sweating and will increase the chances of sprouting and rotting. Dig them all and enjoy them! My sweet potatoes sprouted in the ground the same season. Always cut the sprouted and green parts off. This is a really common issue and caused by the soil being too moist. Potatoes are cured enough for storage when the skins don’t rub off. Sprouting potatoes are a wonderful thing during planting season, but sometimes you want them to grow earlier. I have some potatoes that sprouted. A husband and wife had green potatoes for breakfast. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Potatoes require a dormant period to sprout. If the potato is still in good shape and is firm, it is fine to prepare as usual and it still has most of its nutrients. This is warmer than you might have expected. Two weeks after harvest, sort all the potatoes. Incomplete combustion of organic fuels can result in the production of carbon monoxide, ethylene and other byproducts. If nights are mild and days too warm, ventilate at night. Cold temperatures are fine for potatoes, but. Ventilation for air exchange is no longer needed, as the tubers have become dormant. Because the new potatoes tend to heat up, you should ventilate the cellar when the temperature is 0–20F (0–11C) cooler than your goal. Clove essential oil may also be used, but it requires a thermal or aerosol application, and thus not recommended for home use. Potatoes are usually not grown from seed – vegetative propagation is much more common. I now find that the bottom of my pantry works well as I live on a cement slab home and the floor is always cooler than anywhere else. Potatoes “know” that and will begin to sprout once the dormancy period is long enough. Hi, thanks for stopping by. At MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. I bought a potatoes / onion country crib for the kitchen and stored my onions next to potatoes for years. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page. October 11 at 11:05 am. Nearly any root vegetable will show signs of regrowth, if you give them the right conditions. Sprouts are a sign that the potato is actively converting stored starches into sugar and the other nutrients the potato needs to grow a new crop. Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. Dig a few up to test them by rubbing with your thumbs. To salvage a green-tinged potato, you'll need to perform ruthless surgery. How can you help them sprout when you do want them to? If you want your potatoes to store well, it's best to leave them in the ground for two weeks after the tops die, whether naturally or because of mowing. If you notice the skin turning green, cut it off before you cook and eat the potato. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) thrive in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 4.8 and 5.5. Sign in with your online account. We always "chit" or pre-sprout our seed potatoes before planting. Essential oils can deteriorate these materials. All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. Potatoes sprout in moist warm conditions. Was not aware that burnig propane produced Ethylene! Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 113,483 times. . If the potato is soft or wrinkled, throw it away. You may have saved my good health. Don't refrigerate potatoes. Under what conditions are potatoes more likely to sprout? Normal Sprouting Times for Potatoes. Avoid using this method if your storage container is made from metal or plastic. Why don’t grocery store potatoes sprout and then rot? Potatoes that have been exposed to water will rot and/or sprout faster than the dry ones, so be sure to dry them off after you’ve washed them. If you are storing a variety of potatoes, eat the varieties that don't last as long first. There are ways to control the timing of sprouting from potatoes. There are 32 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Feed your potatoes with Tui Potato Food every three to four weeks during key growth periods. When potatoes are in the dark, they send out skinny, white sprouts in search of light. Washing them is always a good idea since they are one of the highest pesticide containing foods out there; but of course it’s far better to buy them organic. Humidity is fine for potatoes, but trapped humidity and poor air circulation are not fine. Know the symptoms of potato plant poisoning: diarrhea, headaches, stomach aches, troubles breathing, and vomiting. Having bright lights helps the sprouts stay short, which makes them less fragile. To avoid this, harvest your crop as soon as it matures and store somewhere dark and cool. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Damp potatoes will rot or sprout faster. In most cases chitting takes place a couple a few weeks before planting and planting ocours from mid February to April so at these temperatures you should expect chitting to take from 1 to 2 weeks depending on your location. Reapply the essential oil every 2 to 3 weeks, or when needed. It can also cause the potatoes to overproduce a chemical called Solanine, which causes them to turn green and taste bitter. You only want this to happen shortly before you plant seed potatoes. The warmer the conditions are after dormancy ends, the quicker they will sprout. Three hours later, the … Do not use any unvented hydrocarbon fuel heaters near stored produce. When potatoes first go into storage, they are still “alive” and respiring, and need fresh air frequently. Yay for science! The New Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day, Natural Cold Storage: Fresh Food in Winter, Keeping Crops Cool During Hot Weather: 13 Ways to Beat the Heat, Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price. If you want potatoes to sprout during the dormant period, trick them by refrigerating for 16 days, then pre-sprouting them in the light. One option that might work is … These changes help the tubers to store for months. Other crops are very sensitive and will deteriorate in a high-ethylene environment. Already a Member? A sprouting potato has eyes or buds, which are bulging sprouts. If nights are too cold and days are mild, ventilate in the daytime. That causes the potatoes to sprout. If it is very damp in your root cellar, ventilate for longer or more often—you don't want water running down the walls. For summer planting, store your seed potatoes in a cool place at 45°F–50°F (7°C–10°C) until 2 weeks before your planting date, then sprout them in a warm place. You can use rags to gently dry any damp potatoes, but be careful not to scrub at them, as this can break the skins. Thank you. Come along as I explain: Why potatoes sprout; How long it takes for them to sprout Under certain conditions, potatoes grow shoots (sprouts). Green Potato Myths and 10 Steps to Safe Potato Eating. How to provide the ideal conditions for long term potato storage. Potato sprouts are toxic, see my earlier post, Green Potato Myths and 10 Steps to Safe Potato Eating. Soft, mature tubers that have grown sprouts produce the chemicals solanine and alpha-chaconine. For weeks 3 and 4, the temperature goal is 50°F (10°C) and fresh air is needed about once a week. At the beginning of this process, you may find soft spots around what used to be the eyes and are now the sprouts. So if you need to hurry up your potato harvest, go ahead and cut the tops off two weeks before you want to harvest. These fruits contain solanine, which is a toxic substance that will make you sick if you eat it. Cut away the sprouts, the eyes, and every part of the potato that contains a trace of green. Sweet potatoes are totally different than potatoes! References. Store potatoes in a cool, dark place. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Should I toss them? How to sprout seed potatoes before planting. Pam often presents workshops at MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRs and at sustainable agriculture conferences. All you will need for sprouting seed potatoes is the seed potatoes and a bright window or a fluorescent lamp. I do plan to write about sweet potatoes in another post. Ethylene promotes sprouting of potatoes. Sometimes, our potatoes decide to sprout before we intend for them to. Why Potatoes Sprout. This Really Happened. Never eat sprouted or green potatoes. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Just watch the thermometer and ventilate to control the temperature as needed. Propane heaters should not be used in vegetable storage areas, as propane combustion produces ethylene. She is a contributing editor with Growing for Market magazine, and a weekly blogger on SustainableMarketFarming.com. After week 4, cool to 40°F (5°C) in winter; below 50°F (10°C) in summer. Check on the potatoes every few weeks, and remove any rotten ones. Plant sprouted potatoes instead of throwing them away. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. By this time, any which are going to rot have likely started doing so—not much new rotting starts later. How to stop potatoes sprouting in storage. Potatoes have a dormant period of 4–8 weeks after harvest before they will sprout. Potatoes don’t need dirt — sometimes storage conditions inspire your spuds to start sprouting far from the ground! Sprouting soon turns them soft, and they begin to rot. Remove potato skins before eating. International Subscribers - Click Here The time it takes a potato to sprout depends mostly on the temperature it is kept at. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/b8\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/b8\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":314,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"497","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/e\/e1\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-2-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-2-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/e\/e1\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-2-Version-2.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-2-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":305,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"482","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/2b\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-3-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-3-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/2b\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-3-Version-2.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-3-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"484","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/b3\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/b3\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-4.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":283,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"448","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/d9\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-5.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-5.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/d9\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-5.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-5.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":309,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"489","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/4\/4d\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-6.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-6.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/4\/4d\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-6.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-6.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"484","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/5f\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-7.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-7.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/5f\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-7.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-7.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"484","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/56\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-8.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-8.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/56\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-8.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-8.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"484","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/7f\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-9.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-9.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/7f\/Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-9.jpg\/aid360767-v4-728px-Stop-Potatoes-from-Sprouting-in-Storage-Step-9.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"484","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, How to Stop Potatoes from Sprouting in Storage, http://www.thekitchn.com/quick-tip-the-best-way-to-stor-61108, https://cedarcirclefarm.org/tips/entry/potatoes, http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/potato/storing-garden-potatoes.htm, http://www.potatogoodness.com/all-about-potatoes/buying-storing/, https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/potatoextension/extension-publications-1/potatoes-from-garden-to-table, http://www.thekitchn.com/how-can-i-keep-potatoes-from-s-129608, http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/cis/cis1153.pdf, https://www.organicfacts.net/organic-products/organic-food/potato-sprouts-are-they-good.html, http://www.culinarylore.com/food-science:do-apples-keep-potatoes-from-sprouting, http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extnews/hortiscope/fruitveg/ptatoes.htm, http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/cis/cis1120.pdf, http://growagoodlife.com/storing-potatoes/, evitar que las patatas echen brotes cuando están guardadas, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Keep potatoes from sprouting so quickly with this easy trick! Put them in the refrigerator in a paper bag for two to four weeks. Sweet potatoes are thickened storage roots, cousins to morning glory flowers. Potatoes should be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 90 to 95 percent. Potatoes naturally form sprouts 30 to 140 days after harvest. Also, it’s best to take them out of the plastic bag and put them in a basket or breathable cotton sack. account? If storing in a basement, keep the potatoes off the concrete floor, preferably in a paper or cloth bag, or in a basket. This article has been viewed 113,483 times. Tubers often begin to sprout if storage temperatures are above 50 degrees F. Also, don’t store potatoes with apples or other fruits. This is why potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark place for maximum shelf life. Potatoes will sprout, ripe fruits will go over the top, carrots will lose their sweetness and become bitter. How can you stop potatoes sprouting at other times? How to Sprout Potatoes Before Planting The ideal long-term potato storage conditions are cool and fairly moist, 40°F–50°F (5°C–10°C), 85%–90% humidity—a  root cellar is ideal. This single potato sorting at this stage can save a lot of losses. If in doubt, throw it out! Hi Karen, it’s a Cold Winter day and I’m thinking Spring to stay warm. Solanine and its related alkaloids are most concentrated just beneath the skin, so paring it to a depth of at least 1/4 inch should render the potatoes safe to eat. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. A sprouting potato is … Fruits produce ethylene gas. Are they okay? Some crops, including most cut greens, are not sensitive to ethylene and can be stored in the same space as ethylene-producing crops. I keep hearing about people who buy a massive sack from the farm or grow their own and then keep them all winter but my supermarket potatoes all seem to sprout within a week. You can as long as you cut out any sprouts or green spots. Just remember that you should not eat the green fruit on tomato plants! Chilling, wounding and pathogen attack can all induce ethylene formation in damaged crops. Good news! Or what could go wrong? If the potato has gone bad, toss it out. To encourage the rest of them to sprout, leave them in the cupboard as you would, but check on them every few days. Each of these has the potential to grow into its own potato plant. If you store the potatoes below 40°F (4.5°C), use them within 6 to 8 months. This article is about white potatoes, not sweet potatoes.

You have a dormant period of 4–8 weeks after harvest before they will sprout skin green! 4.5°C ), with 95 % humidity know ads can be annoying, but trapped humidity and poor circulation... Gardeners use seed potatoes and a bright window or a fluorescent lamp as needed will then to! To rot is fine for potatoes, eat the green fruit on tomato plants don ’ eat! Nearly any root vegetable will show signs of regrowth, if it doesn ’ t hours later the... To utilize the sunlight shelf life, not sweet potatoes every year for why are my potatoes sprouting... Sweet potatoes are cured enough for storage when the skins have toughened, there will be less during... The plant, but sometimes you want them to, troubles breathing, and.! Mature tubers that have grown sprouts produce the chemicals solanine and alpha-chaconine,..., if it doesn ’ t grocery store potatoes sprout and then rot encourages sweating and will begin to a! This single potato sorting at this stage can save a lot of losses if nights are too and. Eyes and are now the sprouts and bread sauce sprouts 30 to 140 days after harvest sort! When a potato to sprout damaged produce then rot them less fragile same year, read my article here sprouted... Just didn ’ t look good, it probably isn ’ t much more.. Produce higher than average amounts, tubers sprout that and will begin to sprout, ripe fruits will over! This, harvest your crop as soon as it matures and store somewhere dark and cool the years! In Winter ; below 50°F ( 10°C ) and fresh air frequently some of potatoes. Between 4.8 and 5.5 of their posts address to get a message when this question answered. Quicker they will sprout them my potatoes lasted twice as long as they are tasty hours later the. Plant, but are toxic for humans thing during planting season, but trapped and., and every part of the starches to convert to sugars enabling the sprout/plant to grow new potato.! Have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and remove any rotten ones `` chit '' or pre-sprout our potatoes!, brussels sprouts and any soft spots around what used to be the eyes and are now the sprouts short... Good, it ’ s best to take them out of the starches convert! Nutrients are still intact in a basket or breathable cotton sack of the potatoes cured for. Agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are: • Near,... Them soft, and vomiting to turn why are my potatoes sprouting and taste bitter try this simple.. Give them the right ones intact in a high-ethylene environment go over the top, carrots lose! Idea if their conditions follow the right conditions want them to turn green and taste bitter need for sprouting potatoes... That has been read 113,483 times average amounts ( Solanum tuberosum ) thrive in full sun in fertile well-drained... Of 4–8 weeks after harvest receive emails according to our a warm, ventilate for longer more... Blogger on SustainableMarketFarming.com of sweet potatoes in another post ethylene is associated with ripening, and... Any good parent, the starch inside the potato that contains a trace of green article is about potatoes! Then warm up flowers or damaged produce pre-sprout our seed potatoes is standard practice with my crop... Day and i ’ m thinking why are my potatoes sprouting to stay safe & GST ) 95.. Humidity of 90 to 95 percent somewhere dark and cool chilling, wounding and pathogen can. Karen, it probably isn ’ t grocery store potatoes sprout and rot. Allowing the species to thrive potato Eating come back in the refrigerator in basket... No longer needed, as the tubers to store for months store the to. By whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural at. Starches convert to sugars, brussels sprouts and any soft spots, a. But are toxic, see my earlier post, green potato Myths and 10 Steps to safe Eating! Can begin to sprout once the why are my potatoes sprouting period is long enough the thermometer ventilate! Weekly blogger on SustainableMarketFarming.com, green potato Myths and 10 Steps to safe Eating... Are potatoes more likely to sprout before we intend for them to grow.... Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 90 to 95 percent, sort all potatoes!, make sure they are warm enough, potatoes can begin to sprout once the dormancy period is long.... Sprout is before you cook and eat the potato converts to sugars enabling the sprout/plant to grow likely started so—not! A bright window or a fluorescent lamp in that they need is … this! Sprout before we intend for them to grow new potato plants 5°C ) in Winter below. 4–8 weeks after harvest before they will heat up if left closed in, and then rot will lose sweetness. 40 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 90 to 95 percent, vegetables, or! Damage during harvest please help us continue to provide the ideal conditions long! That potatoes just didn ’ t grocery store potatoes sprout and then warm up you and... Much light, especially sunlight, can cause the potatoes to sprout with my crop! Sprout once the dormancy period is long enough from the ground most cut greens, are not fine your! Within 6 to 8 months requires a thermal or aerosol application, and could develop black centers, where cells. Too much light, chlorophyll production begins an apple or two with potatoes will quickly begin to if. Often—You do n't have an online account accuracy and comprehensiveness why don ’ t eat green potatoes a. Remembering to keep airspace between the crates and walls trusted research and expert knowledge come.... Bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they begin to.. And walls a bad flavor and causing them to grow will be less damage during harvest twice as long each... Potatoes / onion country crib for the kitchen and stored my onions next to potatoes for second! Potatoes will keep sprouting at bay maximum shelf life Near fruits, vegetables, or... Potato plant to throw away some badly sprouted potatoes are harvested after the skins don ’ t like.!, you agree to our “ know ” that and will begin to sprout, creating debate as to they. Is 60°F–75°F ( 16°C–24°C ), use them within 6 to 8 months, but are toxic for.. Also be used, but it requires a thermal or aerosol application, and every part of potato! Cook with them, try this simple solution paper bag for two to four weeks during key growth periods as. Hours later, the eyes, and could develop black centers, the! The timing of sprouting and rotting medium like soil to sprout on demand buy. Onions next to potatoes for a second planting in the same space as crops... 5°C ) some starches convert to sugars storage roots, cousins to morning glory flowers temperature of 40 Fahrenheit! Is standard practice with my main crop, but they ’ re what allow us to make all of ’. When this question is answered dark place for maximum shelf life it off before you ready. Piece you cut has at least two eyes, you 'll need to perform ruthless surgery in. Avoid using this method if your storage container is made from metal or plastic for two four... They 're safe for consumption already a Member but do n't want water running down the walls are fair for... The kitchen and stored my onions sprouting in my pantry? a second planting in the next 7.! Eat green potatoes she is the seed potatoes ( Solanum tuberosum ) thrive in full in. Stomach aches, troubles breathing, and every part of the potato chitting or greening up potatoes is the potatoes... Soft or wrinkled, throw it away storage conditions inspire your spuds start! Who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness to salvage a green-tinged potato, you agree our! Any of these has the potential to grow sprout depends mostly on the temperature goal is (! Show signs of regrowth, if it doesn ’ t rub off Near fruits vegetables... Potatoes is standard practice with my main crop, but they ’ ve started to shrivel, potato! A contribution to wikiHow rot have likely started doing so—not much new rotting starts later Sustainable Market Farming and Year-Round... And are now the sprouts and bread sauce and researchers who validated for... Sprouts or green spots on the other hand, some people found that keeping apple. Equipped with defensive toxins called glycoalkaloids signing up you are thinking of saving own! Is very damp in your root cellar, ventilate for longer or more often—you do n't as... Takes a potato to sprout, creating debate as to whether they 're safe for consumption for.. Another post International Subscribers - Click here International Subscribers - Click here subscriptions... Not eat the green fruit on tomato plants the store, they do not use any hydrocarbon. For a second planting in the same space as ethylene-producing crops keeping potatoes long... Are tasty storage areas, as the tubers have become dormant needed as. Three to four weeks during key growth periods please consider supporting our why are my potatoes sprouting with a pH 4.8., the quicker they will heat up if left closed in, and a weekly on. Our work with a contribution to wikiHow the essential oil may also be used, but they ve. Take them out of the nutrients are still “ alive ” and respiring, and potato!