Harvesting and Storage of Potatoes
For highest yields and best storage, potatoes should not be dug until two weeks after vines have naturally died down. This allows the skins to set and reduces skin peeling, bruising and rot in storage.
When harvesting at temperatures above 80 degrees F, potatoes should be picked up immediately and put in a dark place. Potatoes exposed to sun and high temperatures will turn green and may rot.
Most homes and pantries do not have a suitable place to store potatoes for more than four to six weeks. To store potatoes for several months, the tubers should be cured in a dark place at 60 to 65 degrees F and a humidity of 85 percent or higher for 10 days. After the tubers are cured, keep them in a cool (40 to 45 degrees F), dark place with high humidity. Under these conditions most varieties will not sprout for two to four months.
The potatoes we harvested together are field fresh, and have not had the opportunity to cure in the open air. As these potatoes have been bagged at harvest they need to be delt with immediately. For storage, air circulation is critical. Treated appropriately they will last up to 4 months. For this long storage potential, place the newly bagged potatoes in single or two row stacks now, and place circulation fan air flows directly onto the stacks. Even consider placing the bags upright and open them if plastic bags were used, for better evaporation and curing. When you smell a rotting potato, find it and remove it from the bag and wash clean the other potatoes in that bag, for best results.