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How To Save Zucchinis And Pumpkin For The Winter At Home?

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Zucchini, although, like pumpkin, belong to the family of pumpkins, the conditions of their storage have both many common, key points, and many differences. Zucchinis and pumpkin can be stored together if the vegetables are intact, without damage, without signs of rotting and harvested on time: they will not interfere with each other during storage and there is no risk that disease will spread from pumpkin to zucchini and vice versa. But it has been noticed that pumpkins usually stay in storage longer than zucchinis. It's important to take that into consideration when storing these two crops together and to check the places where they are kept at least once in two weeks because if zucchinis rot, the rot may spread easily to pumpkins too.

How to save zucchinis and pumpkin for the winter at home?
Storing zucchini crops in the house.

In addition it is known that pumpkins can be stored at much higher temperature than zucchinis.

Naturally, a long period of safety both pumpkin and zucchini can be provided if the harvesting technology, its preparation for storage and the storage conditions specific to each of these crops will be correctly observed.

Important! Do not "overstore" the fruits in storage, try to use them in food as soon as possible. The longer you store pumpkins and zucchini, the rougher they become, the more they lose some of their nutrients, and they can start to spoil at any moment, and then all your efforts will be in vain, do not forget about it.

Content:

  • Harvesting zucchini for storage
  • Basic rules for storing zucchini
  • Options for storing zucchini at home
  • Harvesting pumpkin for storage
  • Conditions for storing pumpkin at home

Harvesting zucchini for storage

As we have noted, The key to long and full-fledged storage of zucchinis is timely and proper harvesting. So, as for zucchinis, they have to be harvested before the frosts (even slight frosts).

If the zucchini crop gets caught by frosts, the whole lot can be spoiled and they will not be good for storing. In the first days after putting in storage, zucchinis caught in frost can begin to rot, it will be impossible to stop this process.

Be aware that the best stored zucchinis will be those whose skin is quite thick, and if you tap on it, you will hear a muffled sound. The seeds should not be fully developed (technical ripeness), the size of zucchinis should be medium.

There should not be any damage on the surface of the zucchini, fruits with defects in development should also be excluded from the batch intended for storage at home. Pay attention to the "pattern" on the skin: given the description of the variety, you will understand whether this specimen is ready for harvesting.

Don't forget that during storage, zucchinis can mature, and once this happens, their structure will become loose. Do not be surprised that, having cut the zucchini (taking it out of the improvised storage), the seeds in it will be sprouted - this happens not infrequently.

When putting in storage vegetables should be cut so that from the stalk left a fairly large part of it (length six or seven centimeters). The cut should be precise, exactly the cut, and the fruit should not be torn off by literally twisting the stalk: these fruits will probably not be stored for long.

The even cut of the stalk and its rather long length will ensure reliable protection against penetration of microorganisms that can lead to internal rot. In addition, you can judge from the stalk the condition of the fruit as a whole: if it is healthy after a certain period of storage, the fruit is likely to be healthy too.

Negative changes with the stalk indicate that the fruit is no longer changing for the better either. In case even the edge of the stalk has already started to rot, it is better to take the fruit out and use it for its intended purpose, leaving it to be stored further is a great risk.

To avoid such mishaps, always pick the zucchini fruits in dry, sunny weather, doing it carefully, in no case damaging the surface (skin) of the fruit.

Important! Zucchinis intended for storage should not be washed, then they will soon begin to rot. To get rid of dust and dirt it is enough to wipe them with a dry and soft cloth.

Please also read this. Indoor Veltheimia

Wet vegetables should also not be placed in storage, first they must be dried by placing on a ventilated area. Just a couple of hours will suffice for this, lay them out in one row and never stack one on top of the other.

How to save zucchinis and pumpkin for the winter at home?
Storing zucchinis in crates. © lirsc

Basic rules for storing zucchini

The very first rule, besides the subtleties described above, is to choose the right variety of zucchini. For example, zucchini varieties of medium and late maturity (50 days or more) are best stored. Thus, very good results in storage show varieties: Festival, Golden Cup, Gribovsky, Arlika (ripens in 50 - 60 days, has cylindrical, light green fruits with juicy flesh, weighing up to 700 g and good taste, stored well), Assete, Aeronaut (ripens in 50 days, fruit weight is slightly over a kilogram, the pattern is small points, The color of the fruit itself is light green, the flesh is tender, well stored) and Yellowfruit (a record-breaker in terms of storage time, ripens in 50-60 days, has a fruit of cylindrical size, weighing about a half kilograms with a smooth surface and orange grid on a yellow background, the flesh is creamy, pleasant to the taste).

However, in spite of the variety, even the fruits having the maximum shelf life longer than the beginning of March are better not stored, but consumed before this period.

Important! When processing zucchinis after storage be sure to remove the seeds and a small part of the pulp around them, because the seeds become bitter during storage and can give the pulp in which they rest, also a bitter taste.

Subgettes storage options at home

The zucchinis are best stored at humidity from 80 to 85% and at temperatures under five degrees warm and not below zero. If the temperature is high, the storage period will be reduced to a minimum (zucchinis will simply rot). You should not store zucchini in absolutely dark rooms, they should lie where there is no draft. However, stale air is also not good for them, the room should be aired periodically, at least once every couple of days.

One important condition for long storage of zucchinis is the fact that they should not touch each other. Zucchini should not be stored next to other fruits and vegetables, excluding pumpkin.

Usually at home zucchini are stored in the basement, or if it is an apartment, on the balcony, which is periodically aired, if it is heated, or, conversely, insulated zucchini, if the balcony is not heated, covering them with warm blankets and placed in wooden crates upholstered with foam plastic.

You can try to keep zucchinis in the pantry by spreading them on shelves pre-constructed there, or hang like cabbage, but only by placing each in a separate grid (for example, from under the onion, you can even with the remnants of the onion husk, it can play the role of antiseptic).

In a box on the balcony, zucchinis can be stored in dry sawdust or river sand, but for this purpose they should not be put, but put vertically, placing so that the stalks "look" up. At the very bottom of the box it is advisable to put straw or sawdust, a layer of a couple of centimeters.

If it is very cold on the balcony, in addition to blankets, which can cover the boxes with zucchinis on top, they can be additionally wrapped in Kraft paper, ordinary newspaper or any cloth before placing in a box.

If you are able to maintain a low positive temperature on the balcony or in the basement, if you have boxes and can place zucchinis standing up (so that they do not touch each other), put Kraft paper or ordinary corrugated cardboard between them. For this purpose, they can be cut into rings or cubes and dried, wilted or, even better, frozen.

It is important! Do not try to store zucchini whole in the refrigerator, they will not last more than 12-15 days there and will begin to rot quickly.

Harvesting pumpkin for storage

Pumpkin is a wonderful and unique vegetable that many of us underestimate. It contains essentially everything the human body needs. On top of everything else, it feels good when grown on different types of soil, sometimes even slightly waterlogged, in absolutely different climatic regions. Pumpkins can be completely different sizes and shapes - from huge ones that are impossible for one person to lift, to the tiniest ones.

How to save zucchinis and pumpkin for the winter at home?
Storing the pumpkin crop. © Danny

Let's move on to storage - as with zucchini, the key to successful pumpkin storage is timely harvesting and the right conditions for later storage. How do you know when it's time to harvest the pumpkin?

It's very simple - by the stalk: if it has begun to dry out, has changed its color from green to gray, it's time to remove the pumpkin from the plot and put it in storage.

It's important! Under no circumstances allow the stalk of the fruit of the pumpkin to be torn off.

In order to remove the pumpkin from the area correctly you have to slightly lift it up from the ground, thus loosening the tension of the haunches and (as in the case of zucchini) cut the fruit with a part of the peduncle five or six centimeters long, but not tear it off.

The pumpkin should be dried: from all sides its surface should be devoid of even the hint of moisture. The slightest particles of moisture that you have overlooked, can later become foci of rot and mold, quite active in storage.

When the pumpkin is laid dry, undamaged, harvested on time and with intact stalk, it can easily last and until the new harvest.

How to save zucchinis and pumpkin for the winter at home?
Pumpkin storage at home. © nwedible

Conditions for storing pumpkin at home

It's nice that pumpkin can be stored under conditions that are comfortable for you and me too: that is, with 80-85% humidity and temperatures up to 22 degrees of heat. The main thing is that in the room where the pumpkin is stored, the temperature should not fall below a couple of degrees of heat and not go beyond zero towards frost.

The second important condition is to try to provide the pumpkin with a constant temperature without drastic fluctuations. For example, at home, place it in a pantry or on a heated balcony, if we are talking about an apartment.

Pumpkins can be stored in the open, laid, say, on sacking (plywood, any boards, any thick cloth or a pile of newspapers) or covered (with the same sacking); in bulk (stacked in a neat pyramid) or in crates or paper boxes of the right size for the pumpkin fruit.

It's fine if the pumpkin is securely protected from sunlight and not just direct light, but any light at all, that is, stored in the dark.

In storage about once a week, check the safety of the pumpkin. If a particular fruit begins to rot, it should be removed at once and sent for processing, having carefully cut out to healthy tissue and removed the seat of rot.

Frequently monitor the humidity in the room where the pumpkins are stored, it should not be too dry. This can cause them to dry out. If the humidity drops below 80%, you can spray the air with a sprayer or place the pumpkins in a more humid room, but preferably at the same temperature or as little deviation as possible from the temperature of the former storage place.

As with zucchini, if there is no place to store the pumpkin, you can prepare a half-finished pumpkin. For this purpose, first of all the pumpkin should be thoroughly washed, then the skin should be peeled off, then it should be cut in two, three or four parts, the seeds and per-seed pulp should be removed and hermetically packed, wrapped in food film. After that you should put the pumpkin in the freezer of a regular household refrigerator. In these conditions, the pumpkin will last quite a long time and will be suitable for many kinds of processing (except processing for juice).

By the way, pumpkin seeds, being roasted, are very useful for the stomach and intestines and contain a lot of vitamins. If you do not want to roast them, you can simply put them in any metal container and put on a heating radiator for a couple of days, there they will dry out in this time and they can be eaten as well as roasted.

It is important! You should not overcook the pumpkin seeds, because this way you will kill most of the useful qualities of the seeds. It's enough to fry them only 1-2 minutes on a hot pan, no more.

That's all we wanted to tell you about storing zucchinis and pumpkins. If you have your own personal secrets for storing these vegetables, then share them in the comments, we think it will be very useful to everyone!