Table of contents:
- Where do nitrates in vegetables come from?
- Rule 1. Apply fertilizer wisely
- Rule 2. Harvesting on sunny days
- Rule 3. Digging root crops in several steps
Video: How To Reduce The Amount Of Nitrates In Root Vegetables? Simple Rules For Reducing Nitrates
2023 Author: Ava Durham | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 07:13
The nitrate content of vegetables, even when using the most environmentally friendly plant growing methods, is never zero. Most summer residents who use mineral fertilizers and even some organic mixtures do not think that top dressing is just the main source of the ill-fated nitrates, which then appear in vegetables and root crops.
In fact, nitrates are the same nitrogen introduced in too high a dose. Despite the fact that nitrates attract the main attention in southern vegetables, their content is very high in root crops. However, simple tricks associated with harvesting techniques will reduce the nitrate content and get healthier vegetables.
Where do nitrates in vegetables come from?
All root vegetables, starting with celery and potatoes and ending with the record-breaking root vegetables, radishes and beets, accumulate nitrates to the same extent as everyone's favorite cucumbers or tomatoes. Only if everyone knows (and speaks) about the content of nitrates in greens or cucumbers, then they practically do not think about nitrates in root crops. But for them, overfeeding with fertilizers with a high nitrogen content is just as dangerous a source of nitrates as for any other garden plant, salads or herbs. And beets and radishes are champions in their ability to accumulate them.
Rule 1. Apply fertilizer wisely
Nitrogen is necessary for the development of absolutely any plant, but the application of fertilizers in too large portions or exceeding the recommended frequency of fertilizing contributes to the creation of its excess in the soil, leading to the accumulation of nitrates in the tissues by root crops. And it is necessary to fight this phenomenon systematically.
Of course, the most reliable way to reduce the nitrate content is to wisely approach the process of fertilizing in the garden, switching to the laws of organic farming or using organic fertilizers as an alternative to any mineral mixtures. But in order to completely save yourself from the risk of eating vegetables with a high content of nitrates, during the harvest period, you need to take purely organizational measures.
Rule 2. Harvesting on sunny days
First, remember that beets (and their company) tend to accumulate more nitrates, or rather to an increase in their content in tissues in cloudy, cool weather. Harvesting on a sunny day will naturally lower the nitrate levels in your roots (although it's best to choose a day that isn't too hot or too dry).
Rule 3. Digging root crops in several steps
Secondly, more nitrates accumulate during "shock" digging and storage of tops. And the main measure of the struggle is digging in several passes. If you want to lower the nitrate content of beets or other root vegetables, change your harvesting technique:
- Start working early in the morning on a fine, warm day. In the beginning, simply dig in the beets or other vegetables, simply cutting off most of the roots and stimulating the transfer of nutrients from the small roots to the greens. Together with nutrients, due to the effect of a natural defense mechanism, most of the nitrates will also pass into the tops of plants. Leave your roots in the garden without removing them completely from the soil until the evening.
- Harvesting will be possible only in the afternoon. And after removing it from the soil, first of all, for each root crop, be sure to cut the tops, leaving no more than 2-3 cm from the base of the shoots above the root crop. This ensures that nitrates will not "migrate" back into your crop.
For root crops, a very important technique is the thinning of plantings. But it cannot be done as needed and when necessary. It is the timely and high-quality thinning that will allow you to get the desired full harvest
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