This article will help you understand the process of storing carrots for the winter. How to competently prepare a vegetable so that it lays until spring, how to cut it and at the same time preserve its taste.
After all, carrots are a capricious plant. To preserve it, you should learn the secrets of this unique and healthy root vegetable before you start pruning and store the vegetable.
We will describe in detail the rules for pruning and storage methods in our article. You can also watch a useful video on this topic.
Features of the structure of the vegetable
Attention: Carrots are sensitive to external influences due to their structure and their skin is very thin. In case of errors in storage, it quickly becomes flabby, withers and rots, and is affected by pests.
In carrots, the percentage of water is high - up to 80%... Therefore, any negative impact - very humid, damp or dry air in the place of its storage - is unfavorable. The moisture from the root vegetables evaporates and the carrots wilt.
The microclimate in storage areas should be constant: without temperature fluctuations and sudden changes in humidity. Carrots will be well stored and have a presentation if you create the right conditions:
- Observe the optimum storage temperature, not exceeding 2 ° C.
- Provide air ventilation. Do not create drafts.
- The air humidity should be high, at least 90%.
Carrots will be reliably stored if artificial air ventilation is created in the storage, and the optimum temperature and humidity are constantly maintained.
Choosing the right variety
Choosing the right variety for long-term storage is an important condition for guaranteeing success.... They should be of high density, not affected by diseases, without mechanical damage.
It is advisable not to use early varieties of root crops for laying for the winter. The moisture from them evaporates quickly, it is better to use them fresh. But, if the summer is short and rainy, then later varieties do not ripen completely, do not accumulate sugar and fiber, which means that their keeping quality is low.
When buying seeds, you should pay attention to the following characteristics of the variety:
- the fruit must have the correct shape;
- have a high yield;
- keep well.
It is recommended to grow or purchase the following varieties of carrots for storage:
- Moscow winter... High-yielding, with medium ripeness, can be stored for up to a year.
- Shantane... Refers to mid-season and high-yielding varieties. The vegetable is juicy, with a sweet taste and pleasant smell. The shelf life is about 10 months.
- Nantes... An early variety, but if the conditions are met, the shelf life is from 8 to 10 months. Has excellent taste.
The following varieties are also characterized by high keeping quality:
- Vita Longa.
- The Queen of Autumn.
- Vitamin 6.
- Samson Cascade.
What is cropping and why is it needed?
Trimming root vegetables - the procedure for removing tops from vegetables... It helps to preserve useful substances in carrots, stops rotting, drying out and, as a result, spoilage of the entire crop.
The foliage left on the root vegetable soon begins to actively grow, taking water and useful trace elements from the vegetable. Therefore, this process is mandatory.
When pruning carrots, it is advisable to take into account the shelf life:
- up to 3-4 months - the tops are cut 2-3 cm above the head of the fetus;
- up to 10-12 months - the tops are trimmed together with the head of the vegetable by 2 or 3 centimeters, so the vegetables are prepared for long-term storage.
When the pruning is deep, with the capture of a part of the vegetable, the process of fruit germination stops. This means that they remain juicy, their taste is preserved. If the carrots are intended for seeds, then the green part of the plant is cut off, leaving 2 cm.
Do I need to prune if you store the vegetable in the cellar?
Whatever the storage technology, it is necessary to cut the tops from carrots... For storage in a cellar, this procedure is required! The knife should be very sharp so that no hemp or cuttings remain on the carrots. In the cellar, such carrots will not be able to germinate, which means they will retain their taste and useful properties.
Detailed instructions on how to do it
Immediately after harvesting the carrots, on the same day, dry them and, in warm sunny weather, you need to start pruning. Pruning carrots correctly is a very important process, which ultimately determines whether the entire crop is preserved. It is sometimes recommended to remove the tops before harvesting. But in this case, it will be inconvenient to pull vegetables out of the ground.
Do not remove the tops by curling, tearing or breaking.... This can damage the root crop.
Let's describe in detail the process of properly pruning carrots:
- You need to sharpen a knife or scissors well so that they are as sharp as possible.
- Since carrots are a fragile vegetable, they can break with any carelessness. Therefore, pruning is carried out in two stages: first you need to remove the leaves from the root crops.
- Then cut off the tops. How to cut it off? This should be done by grabbing a few centimeters of the root crop. How far the cut is below the head of the vegetable depends on the storage purpose.
- Chalk is sometimes applied to a fresh cut for a reliable result.
- Carefully make sure that no growth points or hemp are left in the place of the cut.
- Place roots in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Wait until the cut surface on each vegetable is covered with a dry crust.
- After that, once again look at the harvested crop and sift out the blackened or spoiled roots.
- Take the carrots to storage.
Ways to save
There are several proven and successful ways to store pruned carrots well.
Wooden or plastic boxes in the basement
The boxes must be installed no closer than 15-20 cm from the storage wall, due to possible dampness. It is better to place the box with root vegetables on a stand or shelf.
Advice: The volume of the container should be taken at the rate of 15-20 kg of root crops per container.
Types of fillers in boxes:
- Sand... The sand preserves well the taste of carrots, one of the most popular fillers. The sand should be taken slightly moistened: a liter of water per bucket of sand is enough for this. Pour the first sand layer, about 5 cm thick, on the bottom of the container, then place the carrots. It is very important to stack so that there is free space between the roots. Cover the carrots with sand, then a layer of sand, and so on to the top of the container.
- Slurry... It is very effective to store root vegetables in liquid clay in a basement or cellar. Suitable for those premises where carrots rot and are poorly stored. Dilute the clay with water, the mass should stretch. "Bathe" each root vegetable in a clay mash, then dry. Fold into prepared boxes.
- Sawdust... Better to take sawdust of coniferous trees. The phenol contained in this material protects carrots from infection by rot and other diseases. Root crops are laid in boxes and sprinkled with sawdust in the same way as when using sand, alternating layers.
- Liquid chalk... The method is very similar to the one using liquid clay. Dip each root vegetable in cooked liquid chalk (thick consistency). After drying, carefully fold the carrots into containers.
- Moss... The carrots are not washed, they dry, they lie during the day, but not in the sun. The place should be cool and dry. Place sphagnum moss (peat) on the bottom of the box. Then, alternating layers, like sand or sawdust, fill the entire container with carrots and moss.
Watch a video on how to store carrots:
When storing carrots in bags, you can choose a container of any volume, but up to 25-30 kg. It is better to use small packages, designed for 1.5-2 kg, so that it is easier to transport and identify spoilage among root crops.
Pre-prepared root crops are packed in tight bags, lowered into the basement or placed in a cool and dry warehouse. It is necessary to place the bags on shelves or on a special stand.
Do not close the bags, or make many small holes at the bottom... This is necessary for ventilation so that condensation does not accumulate inside the bag. If, nevertheless, the condensation increases, then you can scatter substances that absorb moisture.
The advantages of this method:
- high air humidity in bags;
- the purity of root crops during storage;
- rodent protection;
- any place in the room or cellar is suitable for placing bags.
But with this method of storage, part of the taste of the carrots is lost.
Watch a video about storing carrots in plastic bags:
In a saucepan or jar
One of the storage methods is that the prepared root vegetables are placed in enamel pots or aluminum cans. In this case, the roots in the container are stacked vertically... A lid is placed on top. This method is suitable for cool environments.
Simple bulk method
Deprecated method. Carrots are poured in a slide on the floor in the cellar or basement. With this method, the crop is in danger of being eaten by rodents. In such a heap, roots can dry out faster.
Depending on which technology is chosen, the shelf life of carrots changes.:
- in a clay or chalk "shirt" it will last the longest - within a year;
- in containers in which sand, sawdust, onion husks are poured - no more than 8 months;
- poured on the floor or in boxes without fillers - up to six months;
- packed in polyethylene bags, cellophane bags - no more than six months.
During storage, carrots can rot, lose taste, reduce weight, and lose marketability. You need to watch that this does not happen. To do this, take the necessary measures:
- make sure that moisture does not evaporate;
- maintain a constant temperature regime;
- ensure good ventilation and air exchange in the room;
- regularly sort out and inspect root crops;
- remove damaged fruits, especially those affected by rot;
- in partially spoiled vegetables, remove the rotting area and treat the rest using a solution of slaked lime or chalk.
Additional tips and warnings
Here are some tips and warnings when storing carrots:
- It is very important already at the stage when the harvest takes place, to discard all damaged roots. High keeping quality is observed only in ripe and healthy specimens.
- To prevent microcracks from forming on the carrots, which reduce the shelf life, it is not recommended to shake off the soil from the vegetables after digging, tap them.
- After trimming the tops from the carrots, you must definitely wait until the cut dries up and tightens with a crust.
- You need to dry not only carrots, but also storage. It should be dry and cool.
- If there is a threat of freezing vegetables in the basement, then you can wrap containers with carrots with any of the thermal insulation materials.
- Carrots should be kept out of direct sunlight. It is necessary to monitor the moisture in the room so that it is optimal.
- It is necessary to act according to the principle: the smaller the fruit, the sooner it is allowed to be processed. Large large root vegetables are better stored.
- If carrots are infected with rot, do not touch the roots. Very carefully remove the infected fruits and spray this area with fluff lime to eliminate the focus of infection.
Important: The most unsuitable neighbors for carrots are apples. Ethylene released from fruits has a negative impact on the palatability of the root crop.
Having familiarized themselves with the storage methods and the process of cutting carrots, each gardener will be able not only to grow a good harvest, but also to take advantage of the results of his labor. A properly preserved vegetable is a source of vitamins and delicious food for the winter table.