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Maintaining the firmness and excellent taste of beets during the winter is of paramount importance during storage. Despite the high keeping rates of beets, i.e. the shelf life when the fruit does not deteriorate, it still requires favorable conditions under which it will not be infected with diseases from other products, and will not be affected by parasites, rodents or mold.
Many cellar and basement owners believe that the coolness and darkness will be enough, due to which they make the first mistake. Even if the harvested root vegetables are grown healthy, and meet the best standards, they are not immune to damage. Below we will answer your main question: "How to properly store beets in a cellar in winter?"
Preparing the premises?
In order not to lose the precious harvest of beets and provide yourself with useful vitamins for the whole winter, you should take into account a lot of nuances and recommendations for the proper storage of beets in the cellar.
Make sure there is sufficient ventilation in the cellar, and cool air moves freely around the perimeter. Set root bins 10-15 cm above floor level for better weathering.
The floor, walls and other surfaces must be cleaned and dried from excess debris. For reliability sometimes bleach is used and whitewashed for sterilization.
On average, this should be around 0 or +2 ° C. If these indicators are exceeded, then the fruits will begin to sprout, become covered with condensation, rot and twitch the development of diseases.
Premises saturated with warm air and dampness will adversely affect the quality of the crop. Better if the humidity in the cellar will be no higher than 80-90%.
Combination with other vegetables
Joint storage of beets for the winter in a cellar with potatoes turned out to be the most advantageous combination. You can sprinkle beets on top or bottom of potato tubers, thereby protecting the potatoes from excess moisture and providing it to the beets.
No problems will arise when storing beets with onions or garlic. On the contrary, the latter will have a positive effect on the protection of root crops from pests.
Shared storage features
Now let's figure out how to store carrots and beets for the winter in a cellar or basement, without harming vegetables. Both types of root vegetables do not tolerate too high humidity and are vulnerable to freezing. If the beets can be safely stacked in one box along with the potatoes, then the carrots should be kept separately and in a slightly different environment.
It is better for her to make "layering", successively changing the layers of sand and carrots in the container. Sand for carrots should be saturated with moisture by 20-35%... Occasionally, they resort to processing with liquid clay, which will serve as an extra layer of protection for vegetables.
Like most products intended for long-term storage in the cellar, beets will acquire another protective cover if they are rolled in ash or chalk crumbs. It is recommended to sift the wood ash well before doing this.
Terms and conditions
Choosing a variety
So, raising the topic of how to store beets in a cellar in winter, you should take a responsible approach to choosing a variety, because the further success of the whole process depends on this. The following varieties are considered the most resistant to cold and long-term storage: "Red ball", "Renova", "Winter", "Gribovskaya flat A473", "Mulatto", "Nosovskaya flat", "Bravo", "Incomparable", "Bordeaux 237", "Libero", "One-sprout", "Pablo F1".
Most often these are mid-season, late species. Root crops will feel good in the cellar and basementgrown on fertile soils, especially in sandy loam and loamy types. They are less likely to suffer from disease and erosion, such as cracks and build-ups, such as those caused by scab.
Sort vegetables carefully, carefully choosing only whole and undamaged fruits - in ulcers and depressions, viral or fungal diseases can easily develop later.
Any suspicious specimens should be destroyed, for example, if voids were found in the pulp, and black hardened areas on the sides. It will be very convenient to sort the beets by size - store small products separately from medium ones, etc.
Avoid root crops that are too large or too small. Focus on the taste of future winter stocks: it is wiser to leave only sweet ones for storage in the basement, not too fibrous or hard beets. If during the cultivation of beets you actively fertilized them with phosphorus and nitrogen, then there is a small chance that white or gray rot will appear on it during storage.
How to prepare?
For storing beets for the winter in the basement, a fresh crop just harvested from the site is suitable, so as soon as you have collected the vegetables from the garden, start preparing. To begin with, all fruits will need to be thoroughly cleaned of lumps of earth.... To make this process easier and faster, the roots can be briefly laid out in the sun - after warming up under the rays, they will soon dry out.
Do not under any circumstances wash beets. - leave it with a natural protective layer of a thin earth film. It is convenient to clean the beets with dry napkins or a towel.
Prepare with gardening gloves and with scissors or a sharpened knife. Leave the tails of the vegetables as they are, and carefully cut the tops, leaving literally 1-1.5 centimeters.
The next step is preliminary storage in a dark and dry place with good access to fresh air. So for about a week, beets can be kept in a barn extension., utility room or attic.
Of course, in sunny and dry weather, vegetables can be left to dry in the same place, in the beds, for which a couple of hours will be enough. Storage indoors is longer, but reliable. - you don't have to be afraid that the fruits will become damp, eaten by insects or get caught in the rain.
Once the beets are completely dry, they are ready for extended winter storage.
The main point in the question of how to keep beets for the winter in the cellar for a long period of time is their short-term treatment with a weak saline solution. After all, it will become an additional protection of beets from harmful effects. After keeping the roots in such a solution for a couple of minutes, after they must be dried in the sun without fail.
For the saline solution needed for processing beets, one or two tablespoons of salt are consumed per liter of water. This is about 200-250 grams.
What is the best way to store it?
Of course, it is much easier to use a regular mound and store root vegetables on the floor, but this way they will be deprived of full access to air and risk becoming moldy. Benefit from spacious bins with high enough walls (up to 1 m), through the boards of which the beets will not crawl.
For the pallet, also choose a wooden covering with gaps. Bins should not touch the walls of the room - it is best to place them at a short distance.
The advantages of such fences over plastic bags and baskets are that the air inside easily circulates, and you can not be afraid that excess moisture will ruin stocks... Some expert gardeners insist on the need to cut the side roots along with the tail. So the owners of the crop only increase the risk of contamination through the cut areas. Try to keep the roots of the beets as long as they are not too long.
The standard storage period is considered to be 7-9 months.... Covering the beets with sand will increase this time to a year. This is subject to all the rules of thoughtful storage.
Now that you have familiarized yourself with some of the nuances of how to store beets in the basement or cellar in winter, it's time to move on to the most popular storage methods. One of them is storing the vegetable in sawdust. A loose layer of shavings and sawdust is laid at the bottom of the box, then a layer of beets, sawdust again, and so on until the box or bag is full.
It is important to periodically monitor, whether the protective material for root crops has dampened, and then by all means change it to a new one. Now, you know how to store beets in a cellar or basement in winter using sawdust and sand.
For storing beets in the sand, see the photo below.
Another storage method is based on the use of sand. All beets are loaded into large wooden boxes or dense baskets, from medium to larger ones.
After the fruits are completely covered with sand. For these purposes, it is best to stock up on river sand.to occasionally change too raw to fresh.
It is very convenient to store beets in tight plastic bags. The main thing is not to pour too many fruits, so as not to tear the package. The optimal weight for each batch is approximately 35 kg of beets.
Packages of vegetables in the cellar are always left open.so that the beets do not “sweat” and rot. At the same time, sand, peat or soft wood chips can be added to them.
If you decide to store table beets open, it will not hurt to help some plants like fern, oak or pine. Their leaves are rich in phytoncides, which reliably kill some harmful microbes. and parasitic fungi.
So, by spreading fern leaves under the beets, and also covering them on top, you will protect the crop from some pathogens of plant diseases.
Table salt will give almost the same protection effect. To do this, lightly sprinkle all the beets with a little salt.
In the event that there is no opportunity to build a bins, adopt wide shelves or racks. All the beets are laid on them in a steady slide.
Of all the options considered, the open method is the most comfortable and proven. So red beets have free access to fresh air, and excess moisture does not accumulate either on the walls or on root crops.
It is highly advisable to process vegetables with salt solutions or ash if you want to the beets have been in the cellar long enoughwithout being exposed to any disease.
It is important to remember the combination of vegetables and fruits. Beets are not too whimsical in this regard., but the best "neighbor" for her is potatoes, but not carrots.
In addition to plastic bags and shelves, a box with wide gaps between the slats can be a good place to store root vegetables. Wooden frame just above the floor, will become a reliable guarantee of ventilation and protection for the entire crop.
So that you do not have any questions about how to store beets for the winter in a cellar or basement and what, we suggest that you watch an introductory video.