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Video: How To Store Carrots Correctly? In The Cellar. At Home In Winter. Photo
2023 Author: Ava Durham | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 07:13
Shops and markets offer a wide variety of carrots all year round, grown all over the world. But I want my own - sweet, crisp, natural (without all kinds of chemicals), with a pleasant vegetable smell. You can eat it if you grow it yourself. But carrots belong to vegetables that are poorly stored, quickly lose moisture, dry out, and more often simply rot by the middle of winter. How to store carrots? What are the reasons for its rapid deterioration during storage? What are the ways to extend storage? This is what our publication is about.
- How to extend the shelf life of carrots
- Ways to store carrots
- Preparing carrots for storage
How to extend the shelf life of carrots?
To extend the shelf life of carrots, you must:
- grow only zoned carrot varieties;
- comply with all the requirements of agricultural technology (crop rotation, sowing time, watering, feeding, protection from diseases and pests);
- do not use late varieties of carrots for storage. The latter do not have time to mature, to accumulate enough sugars and fiber. It is especially important to comply with this requirement in regions with a short warm period. Medium, medium-late varieties of different ripening periods are stored better.
When laying carrots for storage, it is necessary to carefully prepare the storage and containers, observe the storage conditions.
Requirements for storage conditions of carrot root crops
Choosing a suitable storage method and preparing the storage location is very important.
You can store carrots in specially equipped basements, vegetable pits, in apartments on insulated balconies and loggias, in other equipped places. Regardless of the storage method, the following conditions must be met:
- air temperature within + 1 … + 2 ° С.
- air humidity 85 … 90%.
The optimum storage temperature is 0 … + 1 ° С. At such temperatures, the humidity in the storage can be raised to 90 … 95%. It is impossible to lower the temperature to -1 ° C and below, since the tissues of the root crop freeze and begin to rot, become covered with mold, and above + 2 ° C they sprout with filamentous roots, are intensely affected by fungal diseases.
Ways to store carrots
Best and longest of all, carrots are stored in river, dry, sifted sand. To disinfect it from fungal and other infections, it is subjected to calcination or heating at high temperatures (roots often rot in wet sand). Some gardeners advise taking loam rather than river sand, but it is more difficult to disinfect it.
In addition to sand, dry coniferous sawdust, onion husks, wood ash, and chalk are used for pouring root crops during storage. Carrots are only powdered with ash and chalk for disinfection and against the spread of rot. It is most convenient to store carrots in a soft container.
Let's consider some of the ways to store carrots in more detail.
Storing carrots in the sand
Root crops can be stored directly in the sand pile (no pebbles). With a limited area allocated for winter storage of vegetable products, it is better to store carrots in boxes. The container is selected for the mass of carrots in 10-25 kg. Wooden containers are disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate or whitened with freshly slaked lime. Dry and lay the carrots so that the roots do not touch. Each row of carrots is sprinkled with sand prepared in advance.
Some gardeners even pre-moisten the sand at the rate of 1 liter of water per bucket of sand and mix it thoroughly.
Storing carrots in other fillers
Instead of sand, you can use fillers from dry coniferous sawdust or dry onion husks to store carrots. The methods of container preparation and storage conditions are the same as for sand filler. Coniferous sawdust and onion husks contain phytoncides, which prevents rotting and premature germination of root crops.
Use for storing sphagnum moss carrots
The container needs to be disinfected. In this case, it is better not to wash the carrots, but simply dry them a little in partial shade (not in the sun). Warm root crops should be cooled and only then placed in a prepared container, alternating rows of carrots with dry sphagnum moss. Moss has anti-rotting properties, easily retains the required amount of carbon dioxide. Healthy carrots stored in storage produce virtually no waste. Lightweight moss does not weigh down the boxes of root crops, such as sand or sawdust.
Dipping carrots in a clay mash
If there is no sand, sawdust, onion skins, you can use this method. Before storage, carrots are dipped in a clay mash (water creamy suspension), dried and transferred to a disinfected container. The clay should be clean, without any admixtures of soil, roots, weeds, etc. You can dip not every root crop, but immediately put the whole box or basket into the clay suspension.
After the excess chatter is drained, the container is placed on low racks or stands and dried for 1-2 days with enhanced ventilation (for faster drying of the chatterbox on roots and container walls). With this method, the roots are protected from wilting and rot.
Clay can be replaced with chalk when cooking talkers. Processed root crops are sometimes additionally sprinkled with sawdust - preferably conifers. Their phytoncides kill pathogenic fungi, stopping the putrefactive process.
Storing carrots in a bag container
More often, gardeners prefer to store carrots in plastic bags or sugar bags with a capacity of 5 to 20 kg. Bags of carrots are stacked tightly in one row on racks, kept open. A sufficient amount of oxygen is supplied to root crops, and little carbon dioxide accumulates. When the neck is tied in the bags, the carbon dioxide content can increase up to 15% or more. Under such conditions, carrots deteriorate faster (within 1.5-2 weeks).
In polyethylene bags, moisture appears on the inner walls at high humidity. If the humidity is lowered, the dew disappears. The natural humidity inside an open polyethylene bag with root crops ranges from 94 to 96%. These conditions are optimal. Carrots do not wilt and are kept well enough. The loss does not exceed 2% of the laid down mass of root crops.
These bags often have a polyethylene lining inside, which causes moisture to build up and vegetables to rot. Therefore, before laying the carrots, several small cuts are made in them (necessarily in the lower part of the bag) for better air exchange and reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide, and the neck is tied loosely or even left half open. Root crops are sprinkled with ash or chalk (as if pollinated before laying). The rest of the care when storing carrots is the same as in plastic bags.
Preparing carrots for storage
Not every variety of carrots can be stored. Late unripe varieties during storage will become tasteless, rough, lose their juiciness. Early varieties are characterized by too tender pulp. At the slightest violation of the requirements for temperature and humidity in the storage, they begin to mold, rot and germinate.
For storage, it is best to select zoned carrot varieties of medium ripening periods (the harvest of which is harvested for 100-110 days). The start of harvesting can be determined by the state of the tops. If the lower leaves have begun to turn yellow, it's time to harvest the roots.
In dry weather, 7 days before harvesting, the carrot beds are abundantly watered. If heavy rains are expected, harvest before they start. In cloudy wet weather, the harvested crop is dried under a canopy with good ventilation or a draft.
You need to be very careful when digging or pulling carrots out of the ground, trying not to damage the roots. When harvesting from root crops, they try to shake off the soil without mechanical damage (from impacts against each other, scratches from a pitchfork, torn tops, etc.). It is better to just gently clean off adhering soil with a soft glove.
Harvested carrot root crops do not need to be completely cleaned from the ground, it is not recommended to wash. Long-term storage in air with uncut tops will lead to rapid wilting, and in winter - to diseases.
It is better to cut the tops on the day of harvesting carrots or the next day. When cutting the tops, a tail of no more than 1 cm is left. Recent studies have shown that an absolutely healthy root crop with trimmed tops together with shoulders (the top of 1-2 mm, which is called the line of dormant eyes) and the lower tail is better stored (less sick, does not fade, does not germinate). But at the same time, it is necessary to comply with storage requirements.
Immediately after cutting the tops, the carrots are harvested under a canopy, ventilated or (if necessary) dried and sorted. It is very important to lay the dried fruits for storage. Wet, poorly dried will quickly begin to mold during storage and rot.
When sorting for storage, absolutely healthy, undamaged, large roots are taken. The root crops selected for storage are kept for 4-6 days in a dark room at an air temperature of + 10 … + 12 ° С. Carrots cooled at these temperatures are laid for storage in one of the ways described above or using their own well-proven and unique.
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