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All summer long, gardeners, without straightening their backs, work on their plots. The harvest is always rewarding. Now, the main thing is to keep it in the winter. After all, vitamins are especially needed in winter.
Many novice gardeners are interested in storing carrots in the cellar so that there is no rot and blackening. There are many ways to store a sweet vegetable, we will try to tell you about the most common options.
Choosing the right variety
The issue of storing carrots in the basement includes compliance with the harvesting technology, preparation of the site and the correct choice of root crops. Mid-ripening and late-ripening varieties have good keeping quality. There are also early ripening varieties among their favorite varieties. Most often, gardeners choose for long-term storage:
- Moscow winter, a variety with an average ripening period. This carrot is high-yielding, the root vegetable is dense, juicy.
- Early ripening of Nantes. It also stands out for its yield stability. Ripens after a month and a half from the moment of germination. Can be stored in the cellar until summer.
- Shantane has a medium ripening period, sweet, aromatic pulp. It is stored in the cellar and does not rot for up to 10 months.
Attention! For early carrots, seeds can be sown in late fall. But root crops are not suitable for storage.
Dry warm weather is the best time to harvest carrots. The collected roots are slightly dried before being stored. Root crops are harvested in the second half of September.
Important! Carrots endure the first frosts.
Pulling carrots by the tops is undesirable so as not to damage it. For digging use a pitchfork. It is not difficult to choose root crops from the loosened soil. In addition, they will be free of scratches and damage. This means that they will be stored well, there will be no rot on it.
Carrots pulled out of the ground are laid out in the beds so that they warm up and dry out under the sun. If the weather does not allow, then sheds or a garage are used to dry vegetables. Root vegetables are laid out in one layer at a distance from each other. The quarantine lasts for several days.
What to do next to preserve carrots in winter:
- Clean vegetables are placed in the cellar for storage. It is not always possible to clean the dirt: if the carrots grew in clay soil, and the pieces of earth are dry, you do not need to peel them off.
- Root vegetables are sorted out, separating vegetables for storage in the cellar without damage and scratches. It is through them that microbes penetrate into vegetables, causing putrefactive processes. One diseased carrot can destroy the entire crop during storage.
- Culling should be recycled as soon as possible.
- To keep the carrots in the cellar, they are sorted by size. Small root crops lose their presentation faster, they need to be eaten in the first place.
- With the help of a sharp knife, the tops are cut, leaving the tail no more than 1-2 mm.
Sorted and cut vegetables are transferred to the cellar for storage.
Features of the preparation of the cellar
The question of how to properly store carrots in the cellar is of particular concern to novice gardeners. Everyone knows that this root vegetable is very moody. If you create the wrong conditions, you can lose your crop: the carrots become flabby, germinate and rot.
There are special requirements for the storage place of the root crop:
- temperature -2 - +2 degrees;
- humidity not less than 90%;
- the room must be ventilated.
Attention! Storing apples with vegetables is undesirable, since the released ethylene can lead to the death of root crops.
Before laying the root crop for storage in the subfloor, it is thoroughly cleaned. If necessary, the walls are disinfected - whitewashed with slaked lime. If there is a fungus in the store, then it is better to light a sulfur stick.
Root storage options
How to keep carrots in the cellar in winter without losing production and quality of root crops? This is a very important question not only for beginners, but also for experienced gardeners.
It is in the cellar that it is best to store carrots, subject to the necessary conditions.
- For storing root vegetables, you can use wooden or cardboard boxes. Carrots are stacked in layers and tightly covered with a lid. It is better to put them on high shelves 15 centimeters from the wall so that moisture does not get into the container with vegetables from the sweaty surface.
- The second option is to simply sprinkle the layers with clean sand:
Advice! No more than 20 kg of root crops are placed in one box, so they are better stored.
In the sand with chalk
The question of how best to store carrots in a cellar in winter, each gardener decides in his own way.
- The first option is using chalk. Prepare a mixture of wet sand and chalk. If the chalk is in sticks, then it is first ground into powder. You will need a wooden box with a lid without holes. Roots are placed in it while standing, just like a vegetable grows in a garden. The sand-chalk mixture is poured on top.
- The second option is using chalk. Chalk is diluted in water (does not dissolve completely) until a slurry is obtained. Each carrot is lowered into it, dried and placed in a box in layers. Each layer is sprinkled with sand.
- Roots powdered with chalk powder have good keeping quality. For every 10 kg of carrots, take 200 grams of white powder.
Why do gardeners consider storing carrots like this the best way? It's all about the chalk. First, this natural mineral with alkaline properties reduces the potential for bacterial growth. Secondly, carrots do not dry out for a long time, they remain juicy and dense.
In coniferous sawdust
Many gardeners consider the best way to store carrots in sawdust of coniferous plants. They contain phenolic substances that protect vegetables from putrefactive processes. What is the best way to use sawdust? You can lay the carrots in layers in boxes, sprinkling with wood waste. If the basement is large, then the sawdust is poured directly onto the shelf (not on the floor!), And then the roots are laid out. The layers are repeated.
Attention! There should be at least 10-15 cm between the wall and sawdust.
In bags of onion husks
When peeling the onions, collect the husks, which will come in handy for storing the carrots in the cellar. Place it in a large bag, and place the carrots in the same place. Onion peels are a great way to keep carrots from rotting. Root crops are folded in layers, sprinkled with husks. The bags can be folded on a shelf or hung on a clove.
This method of storing carrots will require almost dry sand. It can be poured onto the floor or shelf in the cellar in a thick layer. Having laid the first layer of root crops, they cover it with sand. The next layers are laid out across. Etc. The height of the pyramid should not be higher than one meter. During storage of carrots, you need to monitor the condition of the sand. If it starts to dry out, the pyramid can be irrigated with a spray bottle.
Important! It is recommended to disinfect the sand before use or to ignite it over a fire.
Many people may not like this method, since there is a lot of dirty work ahead. But this particular option is considered the best.
Liquid clay is diluted, carrots are laid in it in batches. Root vegetables must be gently mixed to get a shell without gaps. The removed vegetables are laid out until completely dry and stored in any container. Covering is optional. What does this method give? Root crops do not dry out, remain fresh and juicy for a long time, microorganisms do not damage carrots.
In polyethylene bags
This is a good option, but you need to follow some rules in order to keep the roots in the cellar until spring:
- Lay only well-dried and cooled root crops:
- Holes are made in the bottom of the bag for the condensate to drain off, the top is not tightly tied.
- The bags are folded on a stand, not on the floor.
- An audit is recommended from time to time.
Advice! When condensation accumulates, vegetables are removed from the bag and transferred to a dry container.
The question of how best to store a root crop in a cellar will not be fully disclosed if nothing is said about the shelf life of the vegetable, depending on the method chosen.
Consider the storage times (data averaged):
- In a clay shell, in chalk, in sawdust, in onion husks and in sand - up to 12 months.
- In boxes without filler, in pyramids with sand - up to 8 months.
- In polyethylene bags up to 4 months.
- At the bottom of the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
Instead of a conclusion
We talked about how to store carrots in a cellar in winter. And now a few tips. Experienced gardeners always share their best practices, including keeping carrots fresh in winter:
- During storage, you need to regularly monitor the condition of vegetables. When spots appear on the carrots, the blackening is taken out and processed.
- If the tops are growing, pruning is urgently required so that the greens do not draw out the juices.
- First, substandard vegetables, too small, are used before they have time to dry. In large and dense specimens, keeping quality is much higher.
- No light should enter the cellar.
- In cold cellars, where there is a risk of freezing, roots in containers are insulated with felt.
What method of storing carrots to choose is up to each gardener independently. The main thing is that the vegetables remain fresh and juicy throughout the winter.