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To the question of what temperature a potato can withstand, there are several answers. It all depends on the condition of the vegetable, which is exposed to low temperatures.
At what temperature does the potato freeze
This plant has formed its species characteristics in the tropical climate of Central America. The climate of this region, however, is characterized by periodic seasonal droughts, from which tubers save potatoes. As soon as the rainy season occurs, the buds in the tubers sprout, and the plant begins to grow again.
Thanks to the adaptation of the plant to such seasonal rhythm, the whole world has hearty and affordable food.
Potatoes cultivated in a climatic zone with frosty winters do not grow without human concern, since no one else can provide tubers with off-season rest.
The temperature regime for potatoes is determined by its three states:
- Off-season rest. In the conditions of frosty winters, the main problem is to protect the tubers from germination, decay and drying.
- Finding tubers in the soil at positive temperatures. Temperature changes in the spring and autumn can damage the tubers, which leads to two possible consequences: loss of germination ability and a decrease in nutritional value. In addition, potatoes, frozen before harvesting, will not be stored, they will have to be disposed of immediately.
- Actively photosynthetic green mass. Potato leaves are very sensitive to temperature extremes, so late spring frosts are extremely undesirable for them.
How to store potatoes at home
How to withstand the temperature conditions of winter storage in order to prevent potatoes from freezing
The preservation of potato tubers during winter storage depends on many factors, therefore, it is definitely impossible to answer the question of what temperature should be stored potatoes.
In order for your crop to lie safely until spring, or at least until mid-winter, it is necessary to provide it with the following conditions:
- Complete darkness. Obeying his biological clock, in the spring the potatoes will begin to sprout anyway, but darkness will allow this process to be postponed to a later date.
- Moderate humidity. The room where potatoes are stored should not be damp. The optimum humidity mode can be easily determined without instruments. Indicators are organisms that always live in such enclosed spaces. If mold is visible here, other fungi grow, colonies of bacteria appear, arthropods run under the name of wood lice, then vegetables should not be stored in such a room. With too much dryness, the potato does not decay, but begins to lose moisture and wrinkles.
- Lack of drafts. Wind creates risks of temperature and moisture changes. In winter, in severe frosts, there is a real danger of getting frozen potatoes instead of a good product.
If all these conditions are met, the most favorable can be considered a constant air temperature in the range from +2 to + 3 °. Of course, it would be better to store potatoes at a temperature near zero. However, this is risky: you can not keep track and get a negative temperature. Even a short-term decrease in temperature to negative values can lead to a significant loss of yield.
What to do when the temperature drops below zero
If the potatoes froze in the subfield, then you need:
- do not panic;
- determine the value of lowering the temperature below zero;
- try to establish the duration of such a decrease;
- identify the cause of the temperature drop.
In other words, you need to analyze the situation and assess the magnitude of the disaster. The result of such an analysis should be the conclusion that the potato is frozen or only slightly damaged by negative temperatures.
In any case, a final impact assessment can only be carried out by inventory. If the potato just froze, then the tuber will be damaged in some part. However, this verdict is not so comforting: the damaged tuber will now begin to rot. Such potatoes cannot be stored; they urgently need to be disposed of.
If the negative temperatures lasted a long time, this can only mean one thing - the potatoes froze. Of course, you no longer use it as a product for sale, but it is quite suitable for food. We eat freshly frozen vegetables.
Ice cream does not lose its nutritional value. Just under the influence of freezing temperatures, part of the substance goes into sugar, and the potato becomes sweetish. Some people find this their charm. You can’t eat sprouted and decaying potatoes, and frozen food can and should be. Only boil it immediately in boiling water, without first defrosting.
Temperature range of devices for growing potatoes
The sensitivity of this vegetable to temperature varies depending on what stage of growth it is at.
On average, potato viability is designed for a temperature range from +3 to + 30 ° С. However, the optimum temperature is in the range of 20-25 °. All other indicators are acceptable, but extreme.
Negative temperatures are unacceptable for vegetating plants. If the tops of potatoes froze as a result of late spring frosts, then there is still the likelihood of renewed growth from other tuber buds or from those shoots that did not have time to rise above the soil level. However, it is better to plant new tubers.
But what to do if you did not have time to dig up potatoes, and the first frosts have already appeared? Here, two factors must be taken into account: the magnitude of the negative temperature and its duration. Usually the first frosts occur in the range from -2 to -5 ° and last no more than 12-15 hours. The soil, especially loose and with a large amount of organic matter, in such conditions maintains a positive temperature. Moreover, the temperature difference between the soil and the air reaches sometimes a dozen degrees. This means that at an air temperature of, for example, -5 °, the soil can maintain a temperature of + 5 °, or even more.
How to grow potatoes
Over time, the soil cools down and begins to freeze, but this happens in the agricultural regions gradually, over the course of ten days, or even more. So each potato grower usually has a week and a half left to save the crop after the first frost.