Storage of seed potatoes
The recommended storage for seed tubers is diffused light store (DLS). Tubers are placed in chiting trays, racks or shelves in a building or storage where light can pass through transparent plastic sheets or fibreglass walls.
Sprouts from DLS have study sprouts. Sprouts from dark storage have long ad etiolated sprouts that are susceptible to damages during handling.
Vacant rooms or unused buildings can be renovated to serve as a diffused light store.
Tubers that are stored in diffused light produce short, green and sturdy sprouts. Stronger sprouts are produced from DLS storage tubers as compared to thise sprouts from tubers that have been stored in the dark.
Store seed tubers in shelves or trays to a maximum depth of two to three tubers so that all tubers will receive light.
Tips to fully benefit from diffused light store:
Store only tubers that are healthy, clean dry and cured.
Keep different varieties separately because each variety has its own storability characteristic.
Regularly clean and disinfect the storage area before putting the tubers in.
Visit regularly and inspect tubers for rotting. Always maintain sanitation.
Remove rotten tubers and burn or bury them.
Tubers that were first brought to storage should also be the first to be taken out of the storage place.
To induce more sprouts, remove the apical shoots.
More tips when constructing a Diffused Light Store
Diffused light should be able to enter through walls for better light distribution. Skylight through the roof might result in undesirable heat in the storage area.
The transparent walls could be made of evenly spaced wood or bamboo slats. Diffused light can be natural (sunlight) or artificial (light from electric bulb/lamp)
A long and narrow storage is recommended so that enough light can come in.
For proper ventilation, provide roof insulation and large overhangs that provide shadings to the walls and prevent direct sunlight. Select a well-ventilated area.
Install insect-proof screens on store walls of storage located in warmer areas where potato tubermoth, aphids and rats are the problems. Aphids are vectors of virus thus need to be controlled.