From: Mary Anne (silver7 at
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 18:47:24 -0600
How can i keep my potatoes from sprouting. I usually buy a 10 lb bag but before i can use them usually within 2 to 3 weeks they sprout. We live on the Gulf Coast and its very damp and humid here almost year around. I don't like to refrigerate them because they turn sweet. If anyone has any suggestions other that the fridge i would appreciate it. Mary Anne
From: ericp at (eric pearson)
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 02:43:53 GMT
Mary Anne,
First and most important,
don't put them anywhere near onions. Onions will make potatoes deteriorate in a hurry.
Second, keep them dry. Consider keeping them in the enclosure with your water heater of A/C if there are no other options.
Or keep them near a fan where air is circulating.
Or keep them in a box of sand with a bag of rice on top of the sand.

I'm sure others will have ideas too.
From: Schaller_Barb at (Melba's Jammin')
Date: 19 Jan 1999 19:29:19 GMT
>First and most important,
>don't put them anywhere near onions. Onions will make potatoes
>deteriorate in a hurry.

You know, I've heard that before, but my bag of onions and my bag of spuds share close quarters in a kitchen drawer and I've never noticed undue deterioration of the spuds -- and we don't eat a lot of them in a hurry.

Perhaps Mary Anne's best solution would be to buy only what she could reasonably expect to use in a week or 10 days. They're no bargain if you're chucking them out, though if I have sprouts on some, I just brush the sprout off and proceed with the peeling of it.
From: jstrain at
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 00:51:55 GMT
I guess nobody's old enough to remmeber GrandMa's Root Cellar? The potatoes and all buried in the soil root-derived" plant products were kept in their respective bins in a dark cool basement. As a biologist, I know that sunlight and temperature trigger sprouting in potatoes. Some keep 'em in the "crisper" of the ice-a-box, like me, a bachelor cook, it takes FOREVER to consume a $1.99 bag of 10 lbs of potatoes. Authorities say such refrigeration changes the character of the starch in the potato-makes it grainy? I've never noticed it. Yodar
From: bethers66 at (Beth)
Date: 19 Jan 1999 02:47:57 GMT
I buy those big bags, too... and mine sprout in 2 weeks as well.

PLUS, I live in COLORADO where "Humidity" is not a word in our vocabulary. I'd love to know how to prevent those annoying little buds!
From: Bob Slover (BobSlo at
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 23:19:04 +0000
Most important is to get the potatoes OUT of the PLASTIC BAG and in a cool dark place. I keep mine in a net bag and I'll have them for 2 months or more, they will dehydrate a little and get a little soft but they cook up just fine.
From: M. Smith (smithm at
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 21:21:32 -0600
Noted the following from an online search:
Potato Storage Management

by Dale D. Moyer
Columbia University
Cooperative Extension Agent
Potato Specialist

The holding environment for good quality potatoes should be maintained at a high relative humidity (90-95%) (see figure 1) and temperatures between 38-55°F, depending on the ultimate market of the potatoes. During this period, tuber quality should be preserved by keeping weight loss to a minimum and by controlling sprouting and rot. Temperatures between 38-40°F is the optimum temperature range for sprout suppression. These temperature levels will also control bacterial soft rot, silver scurf, and other storage diseases and minimize the respiration rate. Research has shown that respiration is lowest at a holding temperature of 45°F. If the relative humidity is kept high and sprout inhibitors are used, potatoes stored at 45°F will maintain a physical quality similar to those stored at 40°.

Full article at: []

So, you want cool and damp. Just like your grandparent's root celler.
From: mandycat at (Sheryl Rosen)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 23:51:00 -0500 (EST)
I found I had a similar problem...the potatoes sprouted before I could use them all up.

The best solution is to simply buy fewer potatoes at a time. Then you don't have to worry about storage. I now buy maybe 4-6 potatoes at a time. When they are gone, I buy more.

Sure, they're 79 cents a lb, vs. 5 pounds for a dollar and some change. But if you're wasting half the bag, it's no bargain to buy in bulk, is it? If you absolutely can't pass up that "10 pound bag of potatoes for 1.99" special at the grocery store, find a friend or neighbor to split it with you.

You obviously cannot use up the 10 lbs in a reasonable amount of time. Don't buy that many.
From: John (pyrus at
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 13:02:54 GMT
Storing an apple with potatoes is supposed to stop them sprouting, but it might not work with potatoes that have already been stored for a while.
From: Paul Ferrara (paul at
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 05:34:05 -0500
The "problem" is that a ten pound bag isn't much more expensive than 5 lbs. And like most folks, the best places for me to store them are either too cold or too warm. I thought about buying a small fridge to keep at 55 deg or so but then decided it was probably cheaper just to throw some away.

Same problem with garlic.
From: Mimi W. Tzeng (mtzeng at
Date: 21 Jan 1999 14:32:06 GMT
Paul Ferrara wrote:
>Same problem with garlic.

I store garlic in those egg things in the fridge door, where you aren't supposed to store your eggs because it's too warm. Too bad potatoes can't fit there too. ;)

I store my potatoes in the veggie bin at the bottom of the fridge. Don't know what the temperature is there, but they seem to keep pretty well.

If you live near a university, used dorm-sized fridges can probably be obtained cheaply. All the ones my family has ever used we've gotten in the $45-60 range.
From: Ivan Weiss (ivan at
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 20:30:04 -0800
What's the problem? Dice up 3-4 potatoes every morning, steam them for 5 minutes, then fry them in olive oil, with a head of garlic broken up in cloves. Don't even bother peeling the garlic; the skins come off in the oil and crunch right up. Salt them and pepper them and pour Bufalo Salsa Chipotle over them. Serve with a couple fried eggs and a triple espresso, then go out and face the day, and you'll steamroller anything in your path. :-)

But seriously, folks . . . In "Fit For Life" there's a recipe for cream of cauliflower soup without the cream. The recipe calls for white miso instead. I have substituted potatoes for cauliflower in this recipe with great success. I freeze the soup in quarts and pints and take it to work, where I nuke it in the micro for dinner. This is a great way to go through a lot of potatoes.
From: stefanie freeston (anfre at
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 00:25:57 +1300
I used to store them in a drawer, they kept for months. Now I use a strong paperbag which is good as well. Also I check on them once or twice a week and weed out rotten and heavy sproutet ones. If they are beyond use, I plant them in the garden. As I live in a market garden area, I get vegetables very cheap and tend to buy them for my parents too. We share big packs (eg 10kgs of potatoes), but I get through them on my own without too much loss. Regards Stefanie