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Storing veggies at home

Root crops such as turnips, beets, carrots, horseradish, and parsnips can be stored in the garden with one foot of weedfree straw as mulch if there are no rodents around.

If storing root vegetables indoors, dig them when the soil is dry. Cut the plant tops off one-half inch above the crown. Store them in layers of moist sand or sphagnum peat moss in plastic bags with quarter-inch holes.

Pumpkins and most winter squash should be harvested when mature, before the first frost. You can tell if they are mature as the skin will be hard and difficult to scratch with a fingernail. Leave an inch of stem on when cutting, then cure near a furnace or warm area (80 to 85F) for ten days.

Potatoes are a commonly grown and stored crop that should be harvested after the vines have died down, and when the ground is dry. Cure in dark and 45 to 60 for two weeks after harvest. Then store at 35 to 40and moist. As already mentioned, dont store with apples. Remove sprouts if they appear, indicating too high storage temperature.

Onions are the other very commonly grown crop that lasts long in storage. Harvest these and garlic when mature, and dry well. If grown from sets, or with thick necks, they may be hard to keep. Cure harvested bulbs for two to three weeks spread on newspapers, and out of sunlight. Skins should be papery and roots dried before storage. These are best stored cool (just above freezing), and dry in a well-ventilated location such as an attic or unheated room.

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