One of the common vegetables grown in almost all vegetable gardens is carrots. This root vegetable, in addition to its taste, has a large list of useful vitamins and minerals, and also helps with various diseases.
However, it is better to use it fresh, but how to keep the carrots fresh until, for example, winter, or just for a long period? This question is asked not only by novice vegetable growers, but also by experienced gardeners. We will tell you how to do this most effectively in our article. you can also watch an interesting and useful video on the topic.
What is this plant?
Carrots are a biennial herb from the celery family., whose height reaches 30 centimeters. Leaves are long-petiolate and pinnately dissected. The first year the vegetable gives a root crop, and in the second year it begins to bloom, forming a complex umbrella with an inflorescence.
Attention: Like many other vegetables, carrots are very useful for humans, this is due to the high content of various vitamins in it. It contains vitamins PP, B, E, C, K. It also contains 1.3% proteins and 7% carbohydrates and many minerals such as: potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, cobalt, copper, iodine , zinc, chromium, fluorine.
The main substance for which it is valued is beta-carotene - a precursor of vitamin A, which improves lung function. Once in the human body, carotene is transformed into vitamin A. Thanks to it, vision is normalized, the skin and mucous membranes are maintained in good condition.
It is good to chew on fresh carrots as it strengthens the gums.... It also promotes growth, so it is important to include it in the diet of children. The use of carrots is useful for various diseases:
- skin diseases;
- cardiovascular diseases;
- diseases of the visual apparatus;
- hypo- and avitaminosis.
It has anthelmintic, choleretic, analgesic, expectorant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, demineralizing, anti-sclerotic and other effects on the human body.
We offer you to watch a video about the benefits of carrots for the human body:
The suitability of the vegetable for long storage
Is it possible and how to save carrots for the winter? There is an opinion that this is a vegetable that is very difficult to store for a long time, and a significant part of the people who grow it have the impression that it is not suitable for long-term storage. However, this is not the case and you can and should store carrots for a long time... There are many different ways to do this, although there are many nuances regarding both the storage conditions and the vegetable itself, but observing all of them, you can easily save the root crop for a long time.
Below we will talk about one of these methods.
What is the essence of the storage method?
Storing a vegetable in sawdust is a fairly common and reliable method that has been used for many decades. They contain phenolic substances, which ensure the safety of vegetables.
Unlike other known methods, this one provides the longest shelf life of carrots. Also, the process of "conservation" of the crop does not require large expenditures and is not laborious. If it is not possible to purchase sawdust, then you can always prepare them yourself... All this makes this method of preserving root crops one of the best.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of the technology of storing root crops in sawdust include:
- beneficial effect on the preservation of the vegetable;
- poor moisture permeability (which protects carrots from infections and diseases);
- sawdust does not stick to the vegetable (unlike sand, which also stores carrots) and it is easy to clean it from them after a period of storage.
But this storage method has drawbacks.:
- laboriousness, since when backfilling, each layer must be poured separately;
- dust from the sawdust itself, which can cause an allergic reaction.
How to properly save for the winter?
Let's consider step by step how to properly preserve carrots in sawdust.
What wood particles are needed?
Coniferous sawdust is excellent for this storage method., as they have beneficial properties that prevent the germination of carrots, as well as the occurrence of fungi and diseases. They should not be wet, the permissible level of sawdust moisture for storing vegetables in them is 10-12%
Preparing and storing vegetables
Before starting the process of "packing" root crops in sawdust for long-term storage, the carrots must be prepared.
After removing the root crop from the soil, it must be cleared of the ground, and also cut off the topsThis is done because it takes up a lot of nutrients, which makes the vegetables wither quickly. The tops are cut just above the top of the root crop, and then the head is cut off (about 1 centimeter thick), so the carrots will no longer germinate and remain juicy for a longer time. They also cut the tails of root crops and then send the vegetables to dry in the sun for 3 days.
The main steps required for storage in sawdust:
- First you need to choose a container suitable for storage, a box that can hold up to 20 kilograms of carrots is perfect. It will be even better if such a box is equipped with a lid and can be closed.
- Now we begin to lay sawdust and root crops in layers. First, put a layer of sawdust 1-2 centimeters high, put carrots on it so that the vegetables do not come into contact with each other, then again fill the laid vegetables with a new layer of sawdust so that the first level of vegetables is hidden, and put the root vegetables on top again. Thus, layer by layer, we place the crop prepared for storage in the entire container of the box.
Important: Due to the placement of vegetables in sawdust, the harvest is stored for a long time, up to one year, which makes this storage method incomparably better, in terms of time, compared to others.
We offer you to watch a video about storing carrots in coniferous sawdust:
If you do everything correctly, then there should be no problems with storing carrots.... However, there may be situations in which this method will not work:
- When storing root crops in sawdust, it is important to select high-quality material. It is recommended to use sawdust of coniferous trees, as their beneficial effect, thanks to phytoncides, will keep the crop in proper form.
- Using wet, undried sawdust will cause fungus to grow on the carrots. Sawdust should not be affected by disease, it is important to select healthy trees when harvesting sawdust yourself.
- If the basement temperature drops to - 2 degrees Celsius, then the roots will need to be insulated by covering them with felt to prevent freezing.
- If the roots were not properly prepared for winter storage in an insulated basement, then they can germinate, the reason for this is excessive air circulation. It is sometimes difficult to determine the presence of air exchange, but if the germination of root crops was noticed, then you should not guess. It is necessary to reduce the air duct, cut off the sprouted tops, and sprinkle the vegetables with chalk.
Having considered this method of preserving carrots, it is important to note that it provides the longest shelf life of root crops. The method itself is not particularly complicated and time-consuming, and in terms of material costs it only requires sawdust, which can be done independently. Sawdust storage is a reliable, proven and high-quality option that will help all novice gardeners to preserve their harvest.