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If we consider all root crops, we can conclude that the most difficult thing to store carrots for the winter. But what kind of storage is the best to choose?
- Harvest preparation for storage
- Cellar preparation
- Best storage methods
Harvest preparation for storage
To preserve the carrot for a long time, it is initially necessary to properly harvest and prepare it. The root crop ripens in different ways, it depends on which variety was planted. We recommend that you read the instructions on the seed bag.
If the carrots are harvested ahead of time, they will not have time to ripen and will not be tasty enough. If you overexpose root crops in the ground, then a lot of sugars and amino acids will accumulate in them, which attracts pests. But it is not always possible to remember the exact ripening time of the crop. In this case, experienced gardeners are advised to look at the color of the tops.
When it starts to turn yellow, then you can start picking carrots. It is not recommended to water before harvesting so that the roots are juicy. When the carrots have been harvested, you need to start cutting the tops. If this is not done, the roots will lose some of their moisture. You need to trim the tops in the following sequence:
- Foliage is removed initially
- After that, the head of the carrot is cut off.
Pruning like this will prevent carrots from sprouting during winter, so the nutrients will stay in place. This procedure protects the crop from wilting and increases the shelf life. When the pruning has been carried out, it is necessary to dry the root crops in the sun for several hours. After that, it is recommended to hold the harvest for more than a week at a temperature of 10-14 degrees.
Carrots are classified as root vegetables that are difficult to preserve. So that the crop does not disappear, does not rot, does not dry out, certain conditions for storage should be created. The room temperature should range from -2 to +2 degrees. Ventilation should be taken care of, but it should not be too intense, as this will provoke germination.
Experienced gardeners advise not to store the crop with apples, as they emit ethylene, and it provokes the death of carrots. There must be a certain microclimate in the basement or cellar. The owners must insulate the room on time, create waterproofing, and protect it from groundwater.
Before the vegetables are left for storage, they must be cleaned in the cellar or basement. For this, garbage is removed, the remnants of last year's harvest. If even a small rotten carrot lies in the corner, fresh roots can spoil. When the room is cleaned, it is recommended to disinfect it.
Best storage methods
It is best to leave your carrots in your cellar or basement for storage. In such premises, it is easy to create the necessary conditions for wintering. The owners need to make sure that the cellar does not freeze through. Provided with the right storage space, carrots can last for a year, even until the next harvest. During this time, you can regularly feast on root vegetables that are saturated with vitamins.
In order for the carrot to last a long time, you must also adhere to certain storage methods. There are many of them, so each person can choose the appropriate method. Here is a list of the most common and effective methods:
Using wooden boxes. This method is the easiest. Wooden boxes are prepared for him, in which the harvest is carefully placed. Filled containers are placed 10-15 cm from the walls, since they can release a small amount of moisture that will harm the carrot. The boxes should not stand on the floor, they should be placed on any stand. In this way, you can compactly place the crop even in a small room. Experienced gardeners advise not to put more than 20 kg of root crops in one box.
With the help of onion peels. The husks left over from onions can be used for a variety of purposes, including storing carrots. It is folded into bags, which also contain root vegetables. The husk will absorb excess moisture, create protection against decay, harmful microorganisms.
The main thing is that each carrot is enveloped in this material. For this, the harvest is laid in bags in layers, alternating root crops with husks. At the end, everything must be tied well and placed in the cellar.
With the help of pine needles sawdust. To do this, you also need to lay the crop in layers. The needles contain phenolic substances that protect carrots from diseases and rot. For this method, boxes or any containers are used.
Some gardeners sprinkle sawdust indoors, lay out the harvest on them, which is covered with another layer of needles on top. But it is forbidden to pour sawdust on the floor or near the walls.
With the help of sand. First you need to pour a good layer of sand onto the shelves or floor. Next, a carrot is laid out, which is covered with sand. After that, you need to lay out the roots again, adhering to a checkerboard pattern. The second layer of the crop is covered with sand.
The procedure continues until the pyramid reaches 1 meter. Care must be taken that the sand is not excessively wet or dry, and the carrots do not touch each other. It is recommended to use sifted and disinfected sand.
Using plastic bags. This method is not considered to be the most effective. But, if a person has no other choice, you can use it. To do this, dry carrots are placed in strong polyethylene bags and left in the cellar on a stand or shelf. At the bottom of the bags, you need to make a few holes so that excess moisture comes out. No need to tie bags.
In the fridge. The carrots are wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the vegetable compartment. But with this method, it is impossible to save a lot of root crops. In addition, you can store carrots in the freezer compartment. To begin with, it is grated, placed in bags and frozen. At any time, you can get an already prepared carrot.
So, in order for the roots to be preserved for a long time throughout the winter, it is necessary to create suitable conditions and adhere to certain storage methods. If done correctly, the carrots will sit for a long time.
Video on the correct storage of carrots: