Several vegetables can be successfully stored for several months when the crop is properly harvested, cured/dried, and stored. The temperature and humidity requirements for the storage of several commonly grown vegetables are provided below.
Place onions in a mesh bag, old nylon stocking, wire basket, or crate. Hang braided onions from a rafter or ceiling. Store onions in a cool, moderately dry location. Storage temperatures should be 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The relative humidity should be 65 to 70 percent.
The storage life of onions is determined by the cultivar and storage conditions. When properly stored, good keepers, such as 'Copra,' 'Redwing,' and 'Stuttgarter,' can be successfully stored for several months.
Potatoes should be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 90 to 95 percent. Store the tubers in a dark location as potatoes turn green when exposed to light. If storage temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the potatoes will start to sprout after two or three months. Potatoes stored below 40 degrees Fahrenheit develop a sugary, sweet taste. Sugary potatoes may be restored to their natural flavor by placing them at room temperature for a few days prior to use.
Store sweet potatoes at a temperature of 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 85 to 90 percent. Storage temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit may stimulate sprouting. Sweet potatoes may develop an off-flavor and the flesh may become discolored when stored at temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
When properly cured and stored, sweet potatoes can be stored for four to six months.
Store winter squash in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location. Storage temperatures should be 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not store squash near apples, pears, or other ripening fruit. Ripening fruit release ethylene gas which shortens the storage life of squash.
The storage lives of acorn, butternut, and hubbard squash are approximately five to eight weeks, two to three months, and five to six months, respectively.
Carrots and Beets
After harvest, trim the foliage back to within 1/2 to 1 inch of the roots. Store carrots and beets at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 98 to 100 percent.
Carrots and beets can be stored for several months when properly stored.
Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on October 20, 2017. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.