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Video: When And How To Dig Carrots And Beets? Ripening Signs, Timing. Preparation And Storage
2023 Author: Ava Durham | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 07:13
The question, or rather two whole questions that torment many summer residents - when to start digging beets and when to start picking carrots from the garden? Nobody wants to hurry with this, but there is no desire to be late either.
The thing is that a lot depends on the correct and most suitable harvesting dates for these, in fact, the simplest root crops: the taste of root crops, and their quality when processed and consumed fresh and the content of vitamins. If you dig it up early, they (vitamins) will not have time to accumulate in them, and of course, the storage duration of root crops will decrease. After digging up either too early or too late, you can get rotting roots in the middle of winter, that is, it is corny to lose the harvest.
A lot depends on a simple inscription on the seed package. There it is indicated in black and white how many days must elapse from the appearance of the first shoots to the digging of root crops. Of course, nature itself invades here: after all, summer can be hot and with plenty of moisture, and then the terms on the packaging can quite coincide. Or it may be cool and devoid of additional moisture in the form of rain, and then the root crops will ripen later and, accordingly, they will need to be dug out later.
Let's figure it out slowly, and then, I'm just sure of this, by the end of the material you will already know exactly when to dig up both carrots and beets.
When to dig up carrots and beets?
The cultivation of carrots and beets is approximately the same, and here you cannot draw any special conclusions. But at the very end, the overwhelming majority of gardeners nevertheless agree to a common opinion - you need to dig up carrots after the very first frosts, and beets must be excluded even the smallest ones, otherwise it will definitely not lie.
In general, there is, of course, a bit of truth in this. As for carrots, they can tolerate frosts, they can be dug out even after the first autumn snow, they will not freeze. However, so that the freezing of carrots does not happen for sure, you need to go for a little trick: you should walk around the garden and thoroughly crush the carrot tops to the soil. This method cannot be called new for sure, but it allows carrots to go through all the stages of preparing it for storage. It has long been noticed, and this has been verified more than once or twice, that if you dig up carrots before frost, then it will be stored 30% less than when digging after.
As for the beetroot, as we have already mentioned, everyone is unanimously convinced that by the first frost the beets should at least be pulled out of the soil. Although, on the other hand, if there is a normal autumn and dry weather without rain, then table beets in the soil feel quite fine: in the soil they will remain much better than dug out in advance in the cellar or basement. And the keeping quality of beets is further increased by at least 50%.
It is quite a different matter when the autumn is rainy. There is an extremely high probability that the roots will pick up such an amount of unnecessary moisture that they begin to deteriorate during storage. It is clear that if you delay the digging of table beets during the wet season, then they will be completely unsuitable for storage. This is where the gardeners are partly right, who do not risk in vain and do not wait for an increase of a couple of grams, but dig up the beets as soon as the threat of the first frost comes, or when cold autumn rains begin to pour.
The period for digging carrots and beets may entirely depend on the growing region. So, if you are a resident of the southern region, then the excavation will be carried out later, the central one - in the middle, and the northern one - at the earliest. You also need to focus on the forecasts of the beet growing region: so, if meteorologists predict severe frosts, then what to expect? And you also need to think about the timing of the ripening of the variety (which we already wrote about).
A signal for digging up carrots may be yellowing of the lower and middle leaves. Do not waste time in vain, you can simply remove the root crop from the ground and examine it more closely. If it has the thinnest snow-white strings-roots, then the root crop is quite ready for harvesting. In the event that cracks are noticed on the root crop, then you need to dig up the entire batch and as soon as possible - the carrots are already beginning to outgrow. As for the timing of harvesting, it is optimal - this is the second half of September, closer to October.
Having decided on the timing, you can start digging carrots. To do this, it is better to choose a fine sunny day, of course, do not water it for a couple of days, the soil should also be dry on the day of excavation. It is easy to dig up carrots with a pitchfork: this is not only easier, but also the carrots can cause a minimum amount of injury. You can dig together: one pokes with a pitchfork and slightly pulls the carrot to the surface, and the other, by the tips, finally pulls it out of the ground. Further, with your hands, and not with a knife or something else, you can try to peel off the dirt from the carrots and lay root crops of equal length on the soil or set aside those that will go to seed production the next year, for storage for food. After digging, take a good look at the root crops: those that have signs of damage should be immediately processed or eaten fresh,and send intact and fully developed ones for storage or in a separate box for planting (as seeds).
As for the advice to leave the carrots in the garden to dry directly with the tops, I would argue. In my opinion, you need to immediately cut off most of the tops, leaving a maximum of a couple of centimeters in growth, but it is better to remove them completely, leaving the roots to dry for a couple of hours (otherwise, the tops will draw moisture from the root crop). Next, we send the carrots to a dark place for five or six hours, there it will cool down and finally prepare for storage.
After digging, we proceed to describe the procedure for storing carrots. There are, in fact, a lot of options here. Naturally, the most optimal storage space for carrots is a cellar or basement, where the temperature is just about +4 degrees, and the humidity is at 80%. On the balcony, say, in bags, you cannot store carrots for a long period, they will simply start to rot there. And if the balcony is not glazed and is not heated, then it will simply freeze and die.
A great option is a cellar, shelves are built in it, they are processed with 2% copper sulfate, boxes are installed on them and carrots are laid, sprinkled with dry and clean sawdust. Instead of sawdust, you can use dry and also clean river sand, a quite suitable option (only the cracks in the boxes should then be minimal so that the sand does not spill out).
In some cases, carrot roots are still stored on glazed balconies, but without heating. First, they are dipped in a mixture of clay, allowed to dry, and such carrots can lie quietly all winter if they are not critically cold.
In rooms with low humidity, in other words, dry rooms, carrots can also be stored in ordinary bags, but ventilated, with holes pre-made in them, sprinkling the root crops with sawdust.
In basements, carrots are stored in a section, usually fenced with fresh, clean boards. Dry and fresh boards should also be laid on the floor, and on them, for example, wormwood should be placed in a layer of 3-4 cm. Wormwood is a great deterrent to mice, and they do not touch it all winter.
If there is no bin, then the carrots can also be stored in the basement, but in fresh wooden boxes, sprinkled with sawdust and covered with plastic wrap so that it does not evaporate excess moisture, because the basement is usually warm.
It is advisable to dig it before the temperature drops to negative values and before the season of heavy rainfall. As for the calendar period, it usually falls in mid-September and lasts until mid-October. You need to dig out beets on a fine sunny day, when the soil is dry and devoid of excess moisture.
Never dig up beets earlier than the specified date. The thing is that from about the end of August to the beginning of September, the maximum amount of sugar and other important useful elements accumulates in the beet pulp.
A signal to dig up beets is usually small bumps, if you look closely, they are clearly visible. The tubercles are on the very surface of the roots (this is a sign that it is time to dig).
In addition, of course, you need to follow the weather forecast, pay attention to the leaf blades: growths also appear on them, like on root crops - this is a clear sign that the beets are ripe. You should also drip in one vegetable and examine it from all sides, so it is also easy to understand whether the beets are ripe or not.
The optimal period (we briefly pointed out this above) is an autumn day with a positive temperature and dry soil - this is the weather intended specifically for digging beets.
Digging out beets, in my opinion, is more convenient with a pitchfork: this way there is less damage to the root crops. Immediately after digging, remove the tops from the root crop so that it does not dry, leaving only a centimeter-long stump (do not tear the tops off with your hands, as you can damage the root crop itself), then lay the root vegetables in the sun to dry for several hours.
Important! Beet roots that are subject to storage should never be washed. Instead, inspect each one carefully, just like with carrots, and only store root vegetables that are intact and at least look completely healthy.
So, spread the table beets that you sorted and cleaned from the soil carefully, with a glove, and not with a scraper, in any dry room where there is good ventilation and there is no direct sunlight that would fall on the beets. In such a room, the beets should lie for 6-7 days, so the roots will completely dry out and be ready for storage. After that, the roots can be safely transferred to any storage facility for the winter.
You can store beets in the same way as carrots in a basement or cellar; ideally, the temperature there should be from 0 to +2 degrees Celsius and humidity at 90%. If it is warmer, then the root crops can begin to wither rather quickly, rot and other diseases will develop, in general, the crop may be lost. Table beets are especially sensitive to high temperatures at the very beginning of storage, then even at + 4 degrees of heat, their tops will begin to grow and for about a month they need to be kept at a temperature of about one degree above zero and no more.
Be sure to pay attention to air circulation in the storage, this also applies to storing carrots and storing beets. Ideally, ventilation should be natural, and the bins where the beets are stored should be raised above the floor by at least 5-10 cm so that air can pass through there too. Such a simple technique will allow you to constantly cool the roots, will not let them sweat and will not contribute to the formation of rot and other troubles.
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