How to save the harvest: what to do if potatoes in the cellar began to rot
Growing a good crop is only half the battle. It's equally important to preserve it and make full use of it so that your efforts are not wasted and you get the full benefit of what you've grown. But some crops, such as potatoes, are very sensitive to the conditions in which they are stored and can spoil quickly.
In addition to wilting and sprouting tubers, potatoes are also prone to rotting. OBOZ.UA asked what is the reason for this and whether there is anything that can be done to stop this process.
What causes potatoes to rot
Tubers do not rot by themselves. For this, they need pathogens. They get into the room where the potatoes are stored along with poor-quality root crops. The infection can quickly spread to neighboring tubers through direct contact. And in a fairly short time, the entire crop can be destroyed.
Moisture on the surface of the potato also contributes to rotting. If you store undried tubers, they are likely to rot soon.
How to prevent potatoes from rotting
First of all, it is important to harvest on time. The longer the potatoes are left in the ground, the higher the chance of infection. The harvested tubers must be thoroughly dried before being stored. After the tubers are dry, it is important to carefully sort them out and throw them away or use the damaged ones immediately.
And, of course, it is important to treat the room where the crop is stored in advance: cellar, basement, etc. Before loading the crops, you need to disinfect them, and then make sure that the correct temperature and humidity conditions are maintained inside and that there are no problems with ventilation.
What to do if a problem occurs
Even if you follow all of the above requirements, you can't completely save yourself against potato rot. Therefore, you will need to inspect them from time to time for signs of rot.
If you notice at least one tuber with the corresponding spots, you will have to sort through the rest of the crop and get rid of the infected roots. You will also need to adjust the humidity level in the room. For example, by placing a bucket of lime there. It will absorb excess water from the air. As it gets wet, it will need to be replaced.
Don't forget to treat the potatoes against further rotting. Tubers can be wiped with ash, chalk, copper sulfate, or Bordeaux solution. You can also use ready-made preparations such as Fitosporin. The containers in which the crop is stored are also subject to disinfection. They are washed with a solution of potassium permanganate and dried thoroughly.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA explained how to save winter garlic if it germinated before the frost.