Curing and storing sweet potatoes
I think I've read all the articles on this website about curing and storing sweet potatoes; some give generic advice such as, "move them to a warm, dry, well ventilated place for 10-14 days" and, "pack them carefully in boxes or baskets and store in a cool, dry, darkened place for the winter"; and others are far more specific, "let them dry for 10 days to 2 weeks in a warm location with high humidity. Ideal temperatures are 80 to 85 F with a humidity level of 80 percent" and, "Cured sweet potatoes will keep for up to 6 months when stored at around 60°F with high humidity; a basement is ideal, though an air-conditioned storage room or pantry will do." I can follow the generic advice, but following the more detailed, ideal conditions is a challenge because: 1. I live in Albuquerque, NM and we are getting near time for frost. I can't cure them outdoors under an umbrella (as another article suggested) because it's not going to be 80-85 F until next summer, and we rarely have humidity as high as 80%! Most houses here do not have basements, and I do not have an air-conditioned pantry. I do not know how I'm going to provide the Ideal conditions for curing and storing my sweet potatoes. I might be able to provide a cool place to store them in the house, and I suppose I could run a humidifier to provide extra humidity (although the one article did say, "a cool, dry...place"). I guess my biggest problem is finding/improvising the right conditions to cure the sweet potatoes. Do you have any suggestions??
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
While the more detailed version is what it would be like in a perfect world, this is not always what happens. You can get them as close as possible. A dark pantry will give you a cooler area to store these. When it comes to the curing part... Try curing them near your water heater, or in a box with a heating pad near them, not under or on them. Put it on its lowest setting and it will provide warmth. Then you can move them to the pantry later.