Often in markets and in vegetable departments, carrots are sold neatly washed. Perhaps to give it a presentation? But sometimes clean carrots start to rot even faster.
The article will help you figure out whether it is correct or not to wash root crops before laying them for winter storage.
We will tell you about all the pros and cons of this procedure and describe how to store washed and unwashed carrots. For clarity, we recommend that you read the video in the article.
Features of the structure of the vegetable
The main feature of this vegetable crop is its thin skin and sensitivity to external influences. Any mistake in storage technology, and the vegetable quickly disappears: it rots, withers, and is affected by pests.
Reference! The root crop contains up to 80% water, and under unfavorable conditions - high humidity, dampness or heat - moisture from carrots evaporates, and it loses both nutrients and the ability to store.
Carrots will stay until spring if you provide them with a suitable microclimate in storage areas.: temperature not higher than + 2 ° С, humidity not lower than 90%, no drafts, moderate ventilation, no painful bacteria.
What does washing affect?
Many gardeners doubt whether or not to wash carrots before storing them for the winter. Isn't this a superfluous work: after all, you then need to dry the washed root crops. And the main question: will the shelf life of the washed fruit be shortened?
Traditionally, in the domestic sale, there were unwashed vegetables, sometimes with lumps of adhering dirt. Under a thick layer of clay or earth, it is difficult to determine the true quality of the root crop.... But washing is an extra hassle.
To answer the question whether or not to wash the harvested crop, you need to proceed from:
- the volume of the crop - whether it is small or large;
- the presence of running water or a sufficient amount of it;
- is there a drying shed, a well-ventilated place;
- time and effort to carefully organize this laborious process;
- knowledge of the secrets of storing washed carrots.
Storing washed vegetables affects:
- the process of selecting the spoiled ones: it is easy to detect, even small negative changes (rot, scratches) are immediately noticeable;
- the duration of storage, since at the stage of washing, sources of infection are removed, which may be on the ground adhering to vegetables;
- further use of root crops - it is easier and more pleasant to process them.
Is it possible to "bathe" a vegetable before storing: all the pros and cons
Like any controversial issue - washing carrots has its adherents and opponents, who give various arguments for and against. Let's consider in detail what are the advantages or disadvantages of this method.
Pros of storing washed carrots:
- On clean vegetables, it is easier to find damaged areas, discard such carrots, and put aside good, unspoiled roots for the winter.
- Water washes away not only the soil, but also the pathogenic bacteria contained in it, reducing the risk of damaging vegetables.
- Washed carrots dries faster, adhering dirt can retain moisture for a long time.
- During storage, sorting and examining clean vegetables, it is easier to identify a flaw, in order to sort out rotten specimens and not infect the rest.
- In winter, washed root vegetables are easier to use - less dirt when cooking.
Cons of washing before storage:
- With a large harvest, the process becomes difficult: additional time must be devoted to it.
- If the carrots have already dried out after harvest, then washing will require repeated drying - a prerequisite for success in storing clean vegetables.
- Appropriate storage conditions are not always available: clean containers (barrels, baskets, boxes, bags), the ability not to come into contact with dirty vegetables.
Should I do this after harvesting before planting?
It is not necessary to wash this vegetable crop after harvest.... Moreover, more often gardeners do not resort to this storage method than they use it.
When is it definitely not worth washing? If the soil is clayey and wet, and the vegetables are difficult to remove from coarse adhering clumps of clay without damaging the thin skin of the root vegetable. After all, scratches on a carrot are extremely undesirable for long-term storage. In the case of sandy or loose soils, favorable weather, the presence of all accompanying conditions - you can wash.
After harvesting, it is recommended to dry the washed carrots in a ventilated place, protected from direct sunlight.
Do I need to do this before placing it in the cellar for the winter?
Despite the fact that carrots are a very capricious vegetable, the storage conditions for root crops in the cellar are the most favorable. They are stored in the basement with success, both washed and not... For this, the cellar must be equipped taking into account the criteria of a good storage: with air humidity - 90%, without the threat of flooding by groundwater, temperature - not higher than + 2 ° С, good air exchange.
After trimming and drying, you can pack a dozen fruits in plastic bags and put them on the shelves in the cellar. When clean carrots start to spoil, they will immediately become noticeable. In this case, the keeping quality of the carrot will be high, and the carrot itself will have a good look and taste.
But root vegetables, laying in the basement, you do not need to wash... There are various ways of storing such vegetables in the cellar: in sand, chalk solution, clay talker, sawdust, in moss, in bags, in bulk.
Attention: If you wash the root crops before laying them in the cellar, then their protective properties increase, because dangerous microorganisms are washed off with water.
How to carry out the procedure?
Wait for a sunny warm day to harvest relatively clean, and immediately, without delay, start washing. In sandy soils and dry weather (at least 5 days without rain), the process of washing vegetables will not be difficult.
What steps need to be taken:
- If the weather is rainy, then vegetables are washed immediately after harvest, without waiting for the dirt to dry on them.
- It is not necessary to wash to a mirror-like cleanliness, but if the soil is heavy, clayey, wet (the dirt has stuck to the fruits tightly), they can be cleaned with a soft brush.
- If it is not possible to clean the carrots under running water, then you need to draw warm water, without adding detergents, into any container (bucket, bath).
- Rinse the harvested crop, changing the water as it gets dirty. But so that each carrot was washed twice: the second time in clean water.
- Sort vegetables as needed, removing damaged ones.
- Put the sorted root vegetables to dry - under a canopy on clean material (burlap, newspapers, paper). The place must be dry.
- After the vegetables are dry, you can prepare them for winter storage.
Ways to save carrots
There are proven ways to store carrots that guarantee success. Let's consider briefly, classifying according to the criterion: washed carrots or not.
- They are folded into small plastic bags and sealed to create a vacuum there. Or they do not seal, but so that condensation does not collect, they leave the bags open or make small holes in them. Store the container in the refrigerator. Vegetables retain their nutritional value for a long time using this storage method.
- Having washed and dried, the fruits are folded in layers in boxes, sprinkled with coniferous sawdust or sand. Or in plastic bags with anti-condensation slots. The containers are taken to the basement and placed on stands.
- You can use containers treated with copper sulfate or lime (bucket, barrel, plastic or wood box, etc.). Root crops are poured into a container. A lid or burlap is placed on top.
- There is a method of preserving the fruit in a non-concentrated saline solution.
- They are stored in the basement in wooden or plastic boxes that are installed on the flooring. The filler can be wet sand, coniferous sawdust, sphagnum moss, in this case the carrots are laid in layers so that the individual fruits do not touch each other.
- Root crops are dipped in liquid clay or chalk and in such a "package" are put into containers: baskets, boxes.
- Vegetables are placed in large plastic bags (for 20-30 kg), and they are not tied so that condensation does not accumulate inside the bag.
- In a simple bulk manner. Not damp, non-freezing basements are suitable for him. Pour in a slide on the floor in the cellar.
Further, an informative video about how to store washed carrots:
Another visual video about washing and storing carrots in plastic bags:
Having familiarized themselves with all the pros and cons of the two methods, everyone makes a choice for themselves - to keep the washed carrots or not. The gardeners have a wide variety of opinions on this matter. But one definite conclusion can be drawn: for winter storage, this unique root crop can be washed.