Potatoes and Onions: How Far Apart Should They Be Stored?



How far apart should potatoes and onions be stored? This is a common question when it comes to storing these two popular kitchen staples. Potatoes and onions are often purchased together, but it's important to store them separately in order to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

If stored incorrectly, both potatoes and onions can spoil quickly. For example, if they're kept too close together or in a damp environment, they may start to rot or sprout. On the other hand, if they're kept too far apart from each other, you may not have enough space in your pantry or storage area.

So how do you strike the perfect balance? How far apart should your potatoes and onions be stored from one another? In this article we'll explore everything you need to know about storing these two food items separately so that they stay fresh for longer periods of time. Keep reading for all the details!

How Far Apart Should Potatoes and Onions be Stored?

When it comes to storing potatoes and onions, many people wonder how far apart they should keep them. While it may seem like a small detail, the distance between these two vegetables can actually make a big difference when it comes to their longevity. In this article, we will discuss the science behind storing potatoes and onions together, tips on how best to store them apart from one another, as well as other related information that will help you get the most out of your produce.

The Science Behind Storing Potatoes and Onions Together

Potatoes give off ethylene gas as they ripen which can cause onions to spoil faster. Ethylene is a natural plant hormone that triggers ripening in fruits and vegetables. When ethylene-producing foods are stored near ethylene-sensitive ones – such as onions – they can speed up their ageing process or even rot them prematurely.

Furthermore, both potatoes and onions prefer different storage conditions; thus keeping them too close together could cause problems for each produce's ideal storage environment. For example:

  • Potatoes prefer cool temperatures (around 45°F) with high humidity levels (about 95%)
  • Onions need dry conditions with low humidity levels around (65%).

When either vegetable is exposed to unsuitable environmental factors for an extended period of time in attempts at accommodating its counterpart’s needs during long-term storage – both could end up spoiling prematurely due to adverse effects on natural chemical processes within each commodity respectively.

Tips on How Best To Store Them Separately

It is essential that these two root crops are not stored together so you must ensure enough space between your potato stacks or onion baskets – at least four feet between piles would be ideal! This gap allows for sufficient air circulation which helps prevent moisture from accumulating which eventually leads decay or rotting over time kindled by excessive dampness.

Another way you could consider storing them separately is by finding a separate storage location for each commodity. For example, onions could be stored in a pantry or on shelves in your garage, while potatoes could be kept in the basement or cellar where temperatures are cooler and humidity levels are higher.

It is also important to remember to keep both produce free from rotting instances that might attract pests such as flies and rodents. Choose only healthy potatoes and onions without any visible bruises, cuts or soft spots when purchasing your vegetables from farmers’ markets or grocery stores.

Comparison Between The Two Vegetables

Potatoes are considered an underground stem called tuber which contains starches used for energy storage purposes. They come with many nutritional benefits containing vitamins C & B6 alongside minerals like potassium- important requirements for optimal body functioning.

Onions on the other hand belong to Allium family which includes garlic and leeks among others; they comprise of layers filled with sulphur-containing compounds that give them their unique pungent taste & smell. They also have numerous health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties as well as being rich in Vitamin C – crucial nutrient for boosting immunity within our bodies.


In conclusion, it's necessary to maintain adequate distance between potatoes and onions when storing them together over extended periods! Doing so helps ensure maximum longevity of each crop – helping aid against premature spoilage due unstable environmental conditions that arise otherwise- ultimately keeping both produce fresh longer lasting long after harvest time passes by! Remember always purchase healthy potatoes/onions excluding any rotting instances ensuring safety hygiene measures observed at all times throughout handling/storage procedures implemented respectively


How far apart should potatoes and onions be stored?

Potatoes and onions are common vegetables found in many kitchens around the world. They are both known to have a relatively long shelf life, making them convenient choices for home cooks. However, when it comes to storing these two vegetables together, there seems to be some confusion as to whether or not they should be kept close together or apart from one another. In this FAQ section, we will answer five of your most pressing questions related directly to how far apart potatoes and onions should be stored.

1) Why do I need to store potatoes and onions separately?

The reason you need separate storage for these two vegetables is because they give off different gasses that can cause spoilage if kept too closely together. Specifically, both potatoes and onions release ethylene gas as they age which causes other produce in close proximity to ripen faster than normal. This means that storing the two vegetables near one another will cause them both degrade more quickly than if they were separated.

In addition, potato skins are known for being somewhat porous which makes them very susceptible to absorbing odors from other strong-smelling foods such as garlic or onion bulbs themselves. This means that keeping those items too close could result in your precious spuds taking on an unwanted aroma.

When it comes down it – separating your potatoes from your onions during storage is simply a matter of ensuring each vegetable stays fresher longer!

2) How much distance does there need between my potato bin and my onion basket?

The general rule of thumb when storing onion bulbs alongside potato tubers is maintain at least three feet (about one meter) between the bins/baskets holding each vegetable type.This may seem like quite a bit of space but keeping this distance ensures minimal cross-contamination occurs by allowing enough air circulation around each item while also preventing any unintentional exposure between the ethylene gases released during their aging process.

If you are limited on space in your kitchen, consider storing potatoes and onions at opposite ends of the room or even on different floors if possible. This distance will give you an extra layer of protection against any unwanted spoilage.

3)Can I store onions and potatoes in the same pantry?

While it is technically possible to store both vegetables within a single pantry or cupboard, it’s best to avoid doing so in order to minimize spoiling. Using a separate storage container for each item is ideal but not always practical. Instead, opt for keeping them as far apart as possible while still being conveniently accessible.

If separating your potato tubers and onion bulbs isn’t feasible due to lack of space, consider placing a breathable cloth such as muslin between the two containers you intend on using .This will aid in helping prevent any direct contact that could potentially speed up their aging process by interacting with ethylene emissions from either vegetable.

4) Can potatoes and onions be stored together if they have not been peeled?

If you’re planning on storing unpeeled onions alongside whole potatoes during meal prep/cooking then this should be fine since none of their potential gas interactions will occur until after peeling occurs.
However ,it's worth noting that when both types remain close together (even unpeeled), there may still be mild odour transfer between the two produce items which can affect flavours over time..

When peeled- The gases released by these veggies aren't harmful; however they can cause rapid spoilage among other fresh produce items nearby

5) What are some other tips for extending my onion/potato shelf lives?

Ensuring proper post-harvesting storage conditions play one important role ensuring maximum freshness but several things can help extend shelf life:

  • Keep them cool – Potatoes like chilling temperatures — ideally around 45°F (7°C). Onions do well at slightly higher temps around 55°F (13°C)
  • Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or high humidity levels, which can lead to early decay.
  • Store potatoes in a cool, dark place – preferably one with good ventilation like a mesh bag or wire basket. Avoid plastic bags as they will trap moisture and cause the tubers to turn slimy.
  • Keep onions in dry location – free of moisture and any direct contact with light that could encourage sprouting.

By taking these precautions, you will have more success storing both items for longer periods of time potentially saving you money by reducing your need for frequent grocery store trips.

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