Carrots are one of the healthiest and most delicious root vegetables that people need to eat. Therefore, many summer residents who grow carrots on their site are faced with a storage problem.
In this article, we will tell you how to store carrots all winter so that they remain tasty, crispy and healthy, and warn you against major mistakes. We will also show you which varieties are best suited for long-term storage both in the cellar and without it.
Features of the structure of the root crop
Carrots are a biennial dicotyledonous plant. All nutrients in it accumulate in large quantities at the root. Most of the root crop is formed by the main root. The root crop itself has an oblong shape, hard to the touch, and when it breaks, a characteristic crunch is heard.
Reference! You can store carrots both fresh and processed.
If fresh carrots are stored improperly, changes can occur in their structure, they can become soft, flabby, lose their shape and taste. Therefore, for long-term storage of carrots, it is necessary to grow late varieties that meet the following requirements:
- They are already storage-friendly.
- They have a relatively high yield.
- Have the correct shape.
Which carrot variety is best for winter storage?
Breeders have managed to breed many varieties of this popular root crop that are frost-resistant, with high yields and keeping quality. Foreign breeders, when developing new varieties, focus on a presentable appearance, and domestic specialists rely on frost resistance and the ability to store all winter.
Varieties that can be stored in winter:
- F1 cascade... This variety has good disease-resistant properties, as well as the ability to long-term storage. The fruit has a short shape, pointed towards the bottom, orange color.
- Autumn queen... This variety belongs to the late-ripening varieties. The fruit has a regular, even and beautiful shape, large size and very juicy and sweet taste.
- Nantes... This variety is considered the best for its taste. The fruit itself is even, has a bright orange color.
- Sweet winter... A versatile variety with a high yield. The length of the fruit can exceed 20 cm, the taste is rich.
- The emperor... This litter has a high capacity for long-term storage and transportation, as well as has good disease resistance. And also gives a good harvest and fruit, large in size and beautiful shape.
- Flakke... A variety bred by foreign breeders, which is perfectly grown in the Russian regions. The fruits are very tasty, large and beautifully shaped. These carrots can be stored for a long time, and they also do not crack.
- Chantenay 2461... This variety has even fruits, beautifully shaped, which do not differ much from each other in size. It tastes very sweet. Resistant to cracking. Suitable for growing in regions with heavy soil.
Ways to save the harvest until spring in the cellar
Important! Before placing the carrots in the cellar for storage, it is necessary to sort out damaged fruits or with any other flaws.
Damaged carrots need to be used soon... All other fruits, which are flawless, can be stored all winter.
There are several ways to store it in the cellar:
- In sand... Carrots are placed in a box, alternating with layers of wet sand.
- In coniferous sawdust... Sawdust allows you to avoid the development of various diseases and germination of carrots, stacked in the same layers, alternating with carrots.
- In the moss... Carrots dried in the sun are placed in boxes in layers, alternating with dry moss.
- In onion or garlic skins... Onion and garlic hulls contain essential oils that prevent root vegetable spoilage.
- In the fern... Carrots are placed in boxes, alternating with dry ferns.
- In plastic bags... Clean dry carrots are laid out in bags and tied so that oxygen is available.
What if there is no cellar?
There are also many other ways to store carrots that are great for those without cellars.
For storage, you can use the balcony, basement, refrigerator, storage room or underfloor... The best storage conditions are air humidity of about 90% and a temperature of 1-2 degrees above zero.
It is best to store this root vegetable in a dark, cool place, away from heating systems. Some summer residents leave carrots in the beds or make an earthen hole.
How to store a vegetable at home without a pit?
If it is not possible to use the cellar or pit, you can extend the shelf life of carrots in other ways:
In the apartment
To keep the carrots in the apartment, it is necessary to carry out the "clay" procedure... This requires:
- Rinse carrots off the ground.
- Dilute clay with water until a creamy consistency is formed.
- Dip clean carrots in clay.
- Wait until the clay dries, forming a protective crust, and remove to a cool place.
Attention! Clay will provide not only long-term storage, but also protect carrots from diseases.
On the balcony
Until the onset of frost, vegetables can be stored on the balcony, in bags or in covered wooden boxes... It is also necessary to cover the carrots so that daylight and dust do not fall on it, if the balcony is not glazed. If there is a glazed loggia, then you can store carrots on the floor. You will need:
- lay burlap;
- pile carrots on it;
- cover with another piece of burlap on top so that the carrots are reliably protected from daylight.
If the size of the fruits is not too large, then you can store them in jars.... This requires:
- Rinse the jars well with detergent or boil.
- After that, let them dry, fill them with carrots so that there is a small distance between the fruits.
- Sprinkle with sawdust, or add a small horseradish fruit.
In the fridge
A special compartment is provided for storing vegetables in the refrigerator.... To keep the carrots in the refrigerator for as long as possible, you must also thoroughly rinse and dry them. After that, spread out in plastic bags and remove.
Unfortunately, in the refrigerator, carrots quickly lose moisture and become shriveled over time. Usually, these vegetables are thrown away immediately, however, there is a way to refresh them. To do this, you will need to cut off the lower end of the carrots and put them in a glass, one-third filled with water, and for the best effect, you will need to add a couple of ice cubes. After a couple of hours, the carrots will transform, become fresh and juicy again.
Ways to give
If there is no cellar at the summer cottage, then you can store the carrots in a special pit, in the beds or in the underground.
Underground / basement
If the house is equipped with an underground floor, then vegetables can be stored in it in the same ways that are used when storing in a cellar. The main thing is that the optimum temperature and humidity are maintained in the subfloor during storage..
In the pit
In order for the carrots to be stored in the pit for as long as possible, it is necessary to prepare them. This requires:
- Stop watering two weeks before harvest.
- Carefully dig up the carrots so that there is no damage on them, clean them of excess soil and dry them.
- Cut off the tops to the very top.
Next, you need to prepare a pit for storing carrots.:
- Dig a hole, the depth of which will depend on the area of residence.
Reference! Where the winters are quite severe, the depth of the pit should be at least a meter, and where the soil almost does not freeze - about 30-40 cm.
- Fill the bottom of the pit with sand, the layer of which should be no more than 3 cm, - then, alternating layers, lay the carrots with sand until about 25 cm remains to the surface.
- After that, it will be necessary to cover the last layer with sand, and pour earth on top, so that it rises above the surface.
- The final stage will be the insulation of the pit with dry leaves, peat or sawdust.
In the garden
You can store carrots in the garden if the soil does not have any diseases, there are no wireworms, bears and other pests in it.
Organization of storage in the garden includes the following steps:
- Stop watering the garden one month before starting to prepare for storage.
- Choose a period when there will be no rain for at least a week, and the earth will dry out.
- Weed the bed to remove all weeds.
- Cover both the garden bed itself and the area within a meter radius with a layer of sand, the thickness of which should not exceed 3 cm, 5. Cover with plastic wrap, cover the bed with dry leaves, sawdust, peat, and cover with another layer of film on top.
- Sorting should not be neglected: whole, ripe and healthy roots are stored for the longest.
- It is necessary to use special varieties of carrots for long-term storage.
- It is important to observe the temperature regime and the required level of humidity in the room.
- Carrots are stored for the longest time in the underground or in the pantry. If there is a glazed balcony or loggia, then you can store this vegetable there until the thermometer drops to 0.
- If it is decided to leave the carrots stored in the ground - in a garden bed or in a hole, it is necessary to treat the area and soil from rodents in advance.
- If the carrots have been poorly sorted, the damaged fruits will begin a process of rotting, as a result of which the entire crop can be spoiled.
- If the temperature of the room in which the carrots are stored exceeds 5 degrees, then they will begin to germinate.
- If the storage temperature drops below 0, the root vegetable may freeze and become flabby.
- In order for the carrots to be stored in the refrigerator for as long as possible, it is necessary to thoroughly rinse them with water, dry them, and wrap each fruit with cling film.
Thus, if the carrot grower does not have a cellar for storing vegetables, you should not despair: there are many other ways. They allow you to store vegetables not only in the summer cottage, but also in the apartment. However, in order for it to retain its qualities as long as possible, it is necessary to adhere to the rules.