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Potatoes and onions have the same storage guidelines: store them in a a well-ventilated area in the pantry.

However, I have read that onions should be kept away from potatoes as onions will absorb moisture from the potatoes, causing the onions to spoil.

Since my cellar is quite small, I wonder what distance should be kept between the onions and potatoes so that they don't hurt each other?

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I believe that advice is mainly meant for people storing a large quantity of potatoes and onions (like two 10lbs bags) for long periods of time (like 2-3 months). I can't imagine it applies to a few potatoes and onions stored in a basket.

I have a pantry which is consistently between 60F and 68F, with a humidity of 60% to 80%. I have stored potatoes and onions together in a hanging wire basket for up to 4 weeks at a time. While the potatoes will turn green and sprout in that time (I buy organic) the onions are still good (although somewhat stronger after a month).

So my answer is: ignore that advice.

  • Actually, I do intend to store a large quantity for a long period... this is why I asked. – Erel Segal Halevi Sep 22 '14 at 8:09
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I keep them in separate (yet adjacent) solid bins that do not share airflow, though I agree with the above that the ambient air and humidity are more influential than the intermingling of off-gasses of the actual onions/potatoes.

I prefer a drier pantry (40% humidity). But since everywhere is different try a few different spots and see what works in your house.

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