Carrots are healthy, tasty and one of the most popular products on our table at any time of the year, especially in winter. Keeping this root vegetable fresh until spring is more difficult than other vegetables.
This root vegetable has very delicate skin, due to damage to which the vegetable can begin to deteriorate quickly. Also, not all varieties of carrots can be stored for a long time.
In this article, we will tell you about the best varieties and methods for storing fresh carrots. We also recommend watching a useful video on the topic.
Features of the structure of the vegetable for harvesting
For winter storage, late varieties of carrots and its hybrid species are most suitable.... The root crop must be of the correct shape, have a high yield and have the ability to be stored for a long time. Early varieties of carrots are best used immediately after harvest, without leaving for the winter, as they are not suitable for long-term aging.
Can it be stored raw until spring?
There are many ways to keep carrots fresh for a long time, despite the finickyness of this vegetable crop. There are the most popular ways to preserve fresh carrots, each of which requires certain rules to be followed.
One of the rules is timely harvesting, as carrots dug out ahead of time do not have time to accumulate the required amount of sugars, which will negatively affect its taste... On the other hand, a root vegetable that is overexposed for a longer period of time accumulates an excess of amino acids and sugars, which makes it an attractive vegetable for pests.
Which variety should you choose?
Important: Even properly dug, healthy and large carrots, which have all the conditions for storage, can deteriorate (blacken, rot) within a month after storage. This may be due to the wrong type of root crop. There are varieties that are suitable for winter storage and those that are not suitable for this.
The best and longest-lasting types of conical shape are:
- Moscow winter.
The most unsuitable varieties for long-term preservation are varieties with shortened root crops., for example, the Parisian carotel. In order not to get confused in the whole variety of varieties of carrots, when choosing it, you should remember about some features.
- It is best to purchase domestic breeding varieties of root crops for planting, which are adapted to the local climate.
- Elongated fruits are suitable for loose, oxygenated soil.
- The harvest planted in early summer is more suitable for storage.
- Round carrots ripen quickly, but yield a small harvest.
- Foreign varieties may look prettier, but they require certain growing conditions and soil fertilization.
When choosing a carrot variety, pay attention to its resistance to cracking... Any crack on the surface is free access for bacteria and fungi. A damaged vegetable will not last long, even under favorable conditions.
There are several simple rules of the preparatory stage that must be adhered to before laying this vegetable crop for long-term storage.
- On the eve of digging, the carrot beds do not need to be watered.
- The tops are trimmed immediately after harvest as they will draw moisture out of the fruit.
- After cutting the tops, the crop is dried in the sun for 2-3 hours.
- Within a week, root crops should be kept at a temperature of 10-14 degrees.
- Before harvesting to the storage area, the carrots should be sorted out again and unsuitable root crops should be removed.
Attention: Carrots prepared for long-term storage should be firm, without signs of sprouting, not frozen and not have mechanical damage. High-quality root vegetables will be perfectly stored until spring.
How to save for the winter at home?
The experience of gardeners has shown that it is not necessary to peel carrots from the ground if they grew in heavy, moist soil.... Root vegetables with dry soil last longer. Also, do not wash the crop before storing it. If it was harvested in damp weather, then before storing the carrots, they should be well dried in the shade. A couple of days before laying the harvest for storage, the fruits should be cooled to a temperature of about 2 degrees.
The next step is to prepare a place to store the crop. The room must be dry, with temperatures up to 12 degrees and moderate humidity. The room and container for storing fruits must be disinfected with lime or copper sulfate. The sorted fruits must be folded into prepared containers.
There are several storage places for carrots - it can be a cellar, basement, garage, insulated balcony.... In order to extend the preservation time of the crop, there are several ways. For each method, you should choose the optimal storage temperature and ensure good air circulation and optimal humidity.
The fruits are laid out in a box of wet sand without touching each other. From above, the carrots are also covered with sand. Layers can be repeated.
Watch a video about storing carrots in the sand:
Similar to storage in sand. Coniferous sawdust is best suited, the phytoncides of which prevent the spread of bacteria.
Watch a video about storing carrots in sawdust:
In a plastic bag
Smooth and even carrot fruits are taken. It is better to wash the vegetables beforehand and dry them a little.... Then they are folded into a bag that is not tied tightly so that the roots do not suffocate.
Watch a video about storing carrots in a plastic bag:
For those who do not have a basement, cellar or garage, it is advisable to keep the carrots frozen. To do this, the fruits are washed, crushed in any way, laid out in plastic bags and placed in the freezer, using as needed.
Watch a video about freezing chopped carrots in a plastic bag:
During storage, carrots can also be affected by some diseases:
- Sclerotinosis or white rot... The carrots become soft, cotton pads appear on the surface, which can infect neighboring fruits.
- Bacterial wet rot can destroy crops. In the presence of this disease, roots decompose, giving off an unpleasant odor.
- Alternaria or black rot... When stored on the surface of carrots, depressed dark dry spots, gray-greenish bloom (mycelium) appear.
- Phomosis or brown rot... If it is present, the fruits become loose and hollow, acquire a brown-brown tint.
To eliminate these problems, the soil should be disinfected, the seeds should be treated from pathogens, the storage areas should be treated with disinfectants, the optimum temperature and humidity in the room should be maintained, and only healthy fruits should be laid for the winter.
Everyone chooses the most convenient way to preserve the harvest. It is important to choose the optimal storage method for carrots, taking into account the possibility of creating the necessary conditions for this. Subject to simple rules, you can preserve the harvest for a long time and provide the whole family with fresh and healthy vegetables for the whole winter.