Potatoe storage in sand

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Several months ago, I read about storing potatoes in a large garbage can filled with sand. It said to layer the potatoes in the sand, & put the lid on. I plan to use that method for sweet potatoes, & was wondering if onions could be stored that way also. Is anyone storing root vegetables that way?

-- Carol Ann (JCclass69@aol.com), July 25, 1999


I have never tried that way, but my only concern would be to be sure to have the sand dry enough and on bugs. When I was a kid, my Great Aunt would store her potatoes in a root cellar and would sprinkle white lime on them in the fall.

Sweet potatoes are easy to store, just be sure to dry or cure them enough. Many people will put them on the second floor of a shed or barn layed out not touching another, until it gets cold and then put them in boxes in a dry room that does not get too cold. Putting them in a basement will rot them or putting them up before they have a chance to cure will rot them. All of the old sweet potato barns had stoves in them to cure the potatoes.

-- chicken farmer (chicken-farmer@ y2k.farm), July 25, 1999.

Carol Ann:

Yes is does work; with provisions. Be careful of the sand you use. The most inexpensive [often labelled "river sand"] is full of fungi. Even if the sand is dry the potatoes won't be and you will have a load of rotten potatoes [This kind of sand is often loaded with Fusarium species]. If you use it, it is best to sterilize it first. I've found that the more expensive sands [for pool filters or landscaping] is usually better. Onions do best [after field curing] in mesh bags hung from the ceiling. The supersweet varieties won't store at all. At least not here. Makes a nice science project on rotting though.

Best wi

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), July 26, 1999.

My response is "why bother?" with the sand? We store potatoes in shallow open boxes in a cool dark area, and they do well. We have stored carrots in crocks in damp sand, but too much fungus, mold, and rot. Now we put them in plastic produce bags (bags with lots of small holes) in the root cellar along with the potatoes, etc., and they store better. Onions need more ventilation- we braid them in long strings on used baler twin and hang them on nails from the ceiling in the drier part of the root cellar. Where would you put the garbage can of sand and potatoes? I think that answer would determine if it would work or not . Good luck.

-- Jim (jiminwis@yahoo.com), July 27, 1999.

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