How To Store Potatoes Over Winter For Seed?

Potatoes have a long shelf life; if you store them correctly, they can be used for a long period. If you are an experienced gardener, you know the importance of storing seeds. 

Store Potatoes

You need a storage space but you will not spend money buying seed potatoes for the next growing season.  If you have about the full potato harvest then you can store it properly so you can use nutritious tubers in the coming months. 

When To Harvest Potatoes?

The time of harvesting is very important because at that time you get the fruits of your patience. Your kitchen garden is only completed by planting potatoes because they are nutrient-rich.  

You can easily grow it without facing any difficulty. This low-maintenance crop will produce a rich yield for you. 

The exact time of harvesting of potatoes depends upon the variety you are growing in your vegetable garden. The best time for harvesting early potatoes is in mid-June. 

But you can’t store early varieties because they have thin skin. The late varieties are ready to harvest in late August to October. The late varieties have thick and robust skin that increases the shelf life of potatoes. 

How To Harvest Potatoes?

  • For harvesting potatoes, you can use a digging fork to gently lift the potatoes. You should be careful when you are digging because soil can be compacted and avoid puncturing the tubers.
  • When you are harvesting potatoes make sure that they are dry because if the soil is moist then it will stick to the potatoes and you have to wash them before storing them.
  • If potatoes contain moisture then it will encourage the growth of harmful fungi that will spoil your harvest. If your potatoes are dry then you will not face this problem.  Dry tubers can easily be stored in boxes without any trouble.
  • After the harvesting of potatoes now you have to wait for a healing period before storing them. In case, there are small wounds on potatoes they will get time to heal. Make sure the place you are keeping the potatoes is dry and its temperature should be 19 to 20 degrees Centigrade.

Selection Of Seed Potatoes

Selection Of Seed Potatoes

You have to wait until the foliage completely dies before digging. When you see foliage start turning brown then this is the right time to harvest. 

When the potato plants die back then you can harvest those potatoes for storing over winter for seeds.  When the foliage of the plant dies then the potatoes go into a period of dormancy and you will keep them for a long time. It is better to harvest before hard forest.

The selection of potatoes for storing should be done very carefully. You have to select healthy and disease-free potatoes. Examine if you find any sign of blemishes or buries then you can’t use them for storing purposes. Make sure the potatoes are preceded.  

There is no need to keep large healthy potatoes.  You can keep these potatoes directly in the sun for a few hours.  You have to turn the side of the potatoes after an hour. After 4 to 5 hours you can keep them under shade. 

You should also select the right and ideal variety for storing so that you will not have to struggle to store potatoes for seeds in winter.  It is better to select a variety such as Yukon Gold because you can keep it for a long time. More varieties that can store well are as follows:

  • Ballerina
  • Bridget
  • Caribe
  • German Butterball
  • Green Mountain
  • Kennebec
  • Roko
  • Russet Burbank
  • Sangre
  • Sieglinde

How Long Can Potatoes Be Stored?

The storing period of the potatoes depends upon the variety, harvesting method, and storage conditions.  If during the harvest tubers are damaged then you must eat them within a few days. 

If you harvest new potatoes then you cannot store them because their skin is very thin. For storing purposes you must use late potatoes because their skin is very thick and can be stored easily. 

How To Cure Potatoes?

How To Cure Potatoes?

It is mentioned above that for storage the skin of the potatoes must be thick and dry. If potatoes are not prepared for storing then you have to cure them. 

For curing you need a cool and dark area, now spread the potatoes on a sheet, box, or blanket. Make sure they don’t touch each other and forget them for 2 to 5 days. 

This time can be longer if you find that potatoes are not ready. You have to examine carefully if they look dry then they are ready to store. 

Storing Potatoes For Seeds In Winter

When you are storing potatoes for seeds in the winter then you should consider the location, temperature, and humidity of the storing area this will increase the life of your seed potatoes. 


You can store potatoes for months in winter for seeds if you provide a suitable location and focus on the necessary factors. The following are the important factors you should keep in mind when you are storing potatoes. You can use 


For storing potatoes for months, select a dark and cool place.  The suitable temperature for storing potatoes is around 5 to 8 degrees centigrade. 

When the temperature is low the metabolism of the potatoes slows down. This is the reason tubers stay edible for a long time. A fridge is also an option for storing potatoes in case you don’t have a suitable place for storing them. 

It is not good to store potatoes outside. Because when the frost starts, potatoes will be damaged by the cold. 


A dark room is a perfect place for storing potatoes for seeds. If you store potatoes in a bright location then soon you will see they will turn green because of alkaloid solanine. 

It is an antifungal and if you eat it then you will face stomach problems, vomiting, and headaches. Light also encourages the germination process which is not good for the potatoes in case you are storing them in winter for use in spring.   

A dark environment can be created by using moist sand. You just bury the potatoes in the moist sand. This is an ideal dark environment for storing potatoes for a long time.


Another condition for storing potatoes is a dry environment. As you know potatoes already contain water so you must dry their skin before storing. The reason for doing this act is to protect potatoes from fungal diseases. 

Moisture encourages the spreading of different diseases so you must control it to protect your potatoes. 


If you are storing potatoes over winter you should also check the humidity of the environment. In case you are storing potatoes in the sand then you must keep them moist. So it will help to minimize the water loss.  

An ideal humidity level helps to prevent the potato tubers from losing water. The humidity level in the air must be 70%.  if it is lower % then the potatoes start dry and wilt. 


You should regularly examine the potatoes if you find they are sprouting then remove them by using your hands.  If you find some potatoes are becoming soft it means they are going to rot soon.  

The smell of the potatoes also tells you whether they are good or bad. If you feel that smell then carefully examine it, there should be rotten potato and you must discard it.  If you want to keep your potatoes fresh then you must remove the bed one immediately. 

Related Articles:

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  3. Grow Sweet Potatoes In Containers
Tips For Storing Potatoes Over Winter For Seeds - infographic

Tips For Storing Potatoes Over Winter For Seeds

Following are some tips that will help you when you are storing potatoes all winter for seeds.


Choosing the best variety is also very important when you are storing potatoes over winter for seeds. You should not choose thin-skin potato varieties such as yellow potatoes. Late-maturing varieties can be stored for a long time so you can select them.


Onions and apples release gases that are not good for potatoes. Because they start sprouting prematurely and soon become spoiled. If you want to store your potatoes for a long time then you must avoid storing them with these food items.


You can also store your potatoes for seed in winter in wood shavings.  You can easily arrange these shavings from the local feed store. Take a bin where you want to store your potatoes. 

Now spread a layer of wood shavings and place a layer of potatoes without touching each other. Now spread another layer of wood shavings and a layer of potatoes. 

In this way, you will fill the bin with shavings and potatoes.  Make sure to leave the lid slightly ajar this will allow some fresh air to move in. The ideal temperature for storing potatoes in what shaving can be should be 10 degrees Centigrade or 50°F. 

If the temperature is higher then tubers start sprouting more quickly. If you want to store potatoes for a long time then make sure they are not touching each other. This technique will help you because if one potato starts to rot then the other will not be affected by it. 


If you are living in a cold area where the temperature falls below the freezing point.  In that case, you should be careful and keep them in a place where they will not freeze. 

You should regulate the temperature of the room.  You should also be careful about the ventilation because it can cause suffocation of planting material. 


If you want to slow down the growth of sprouts then you can buy dried mint and put a small handful of mint in each box of potatoes. 

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