Stores and markets year-round offer carrots of all kinds, grown all over the world. But we want our own - sweet, crunchy, natural (without all kinds of chemicals), with a pleasant vegetable smell. You can eat it if you grow it yourself. But carrots are among the vegetables that do not store well, quickly lose moisture, shrink, and more often simply by mid-winter - rot. How to preserve the carrot? What are the causes of its rapid deterioration in storage? What are the ways you can extend storage? This is our publication.
- How to extend the storage period of carrots
- How to store carrots
- Preparing carrots for storage
How to extend the storage period of carrots?
How to extend storage life of carrots:
- Grow only licensed varieties of carrots
- Use all the requirements of agricultural technology (crop rotation, sowing time, watering, fertilization, protection from diseases and pests)
- do not use for storage late varieties of carrots. The latter do not have time to mature, accumulate enough sugars and fiber. It is especially important to comply with this requirement in regions with a short warm period. The medium, medium-late varieties of different ripening dates are stored better.
When putting carrots in storage, careful preparation of storage facility and containers, observance of storage conditions are necessary.
Requirements for storage of root carrots
The choice of a suitable method of storage and preparation of the place of storage is very important.
Store carrots can be in specially equipped basements, vegetable pits, in apartments on insulated balconies and loggias, in other equipped places. Regardless of the method of storage, the following conditions should be observed:
- temperature within +1 ... +2 ° C.
- humidity 85 ... 90%.
Optimum storage temperature is 0 ... +1 ° C. At these temperatures the humidity in the storage room can be raised to 90...95%. Do not reduce the temperature to -1 ° C and below, as the tissues of the root crop freezes and begins to rot, covered with mold, and above +2 ° C sprout thread-like roots, intensely affected by fungal diseases.
Methods for storing carrots
The best and longest carrot preserved in river, dry, sifted sand. To disinfect against fungal and other infections, it is subjected to burning or heating at high temperature (in wet sand, the root crops are more likely to rot). Some vegetable growers recommend taking loam rather than river sand, but it is more difficult to disinfect.
In addition to sand, dry pine sawdust, onion hulls, wood ash, chalk are used for shifting root crops during storage. Ash and chalk only powder carrots for disinfection and against the spread of rot. It is most convenient to store carrots in soft containers.
See some ways to store carrots in more detail.
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Storing carrots in sand
Carrots can be stored directly in a pile of sand (without pebbles). With limited space allocated for the winter storage of vegetables, it is better to store carrots in crates. The container is selected under the mass of carrots in 10-25 kg. Wooden containers are disinfected with a solution of manganese solution or bleached with freshly slaked lime. Dry and put the carrots so that the roots do not touch. Each row of carrots pour prepared in advance sand.
Some gardeners even pre-wet the sand at the rate of 1 liter of water per bucket of sand and mix it thoroughly.
Storing carrots in other fillers
Fillers of dry pine sawdust or dry onion husks can be used for storing carrots instead of sand. The methods for preparing containers and storage conditions are the same as for sand fillers. Pine sawdust and onion hulls contain phytoncides, thus preventing rotting and premature sprouting of root crops.
Use sphagnum moss for storing carrots
The container should be disinfected. Carrots in this case, it is better not to wash, but just a little dry in the penumbra (not in the sun). Warm root crops should be cooled and only then put in the prepared container, alternating rows of carrots with dry sphagnum moss. Moss has rot-resistant properties and easily retains the necessary amount of carbon dioxide. Healthy stored carrots give practically no waste. The lightweight moss does not weigh the boxes with root crops as, for example, sand or sawdust.
Soaking carrots in clay boltushka
If sand, sawdust, onion husks are not available, this method can also be used. Carrots before storage are dipped in clay boltushka (water sour creamy suspension), dried and transferred to a decontaminated container. The clay should be clean, free of soil, roots, weeds, etc. You can not dip each root, and immediately drop the entire box or basket in the clay suspension.
After draining the excessive boltushka container set on low racks or stands and dried 1-2 days with enhanced ventilation (for faster drying of boltushka on the roots and walls of the container). With this method, the root crops are protected from wilting and rotting.
The clay in the preparation of boltushka can be replaced by chalk. The treated root crops are sometimes additionally poured over with sawdust, preferably coniferous. Their phytoncides kill pathogenic fungi, suspending the putrefactive process.
Storing carrots in sacks
Growers often prefer to store carrots in polyethylene bags or bags from sugar with a capacity from 5 to 20 kg. Bags with carrots stacked tightly in a row on racks, kept open. The carrots get enough oxygen, little carbon dioxide accumulates. When the neck is tied in the bags, the carbon dioxide content can increase to 15% or more. In these conditions, carrots spoil more quickly (within 1.5 to 2 weeks).
In polyethylene bags, moisture appears on the inner walls at high humidity. If the humidity is lowered, the dew disappears. The natural humidity inside an open polyethylene bag with root crops ranges from 94-96%. These conditions are optimal. Carrots do not wilt and store well enough. The loss does not exceed 2% of the laid mass of root crops.
Such bags often have an inner polyethylene lining, which causes moisture accumulation and rotting of vegetables. Therefore, before putting the carrots in them make a few small cuts (necessarily at the bottom of the bag) for better air exchange and reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide, and the neck is tied loosely or even leave half-open. Root crops are covered with ash or chalk (as if pollinated before stacking). The rest of the care in storing carrots is the same as in plastic bags.
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Preparing carrots for storage
Not every variety of carrot can be put into storage. Late unripe varieties in storage will become tasteless, rough, lose their juiciness. Early varieties are too tender in flesh. They at the slightest violation of temperature and humidity requirements in storage begin to go mouldy, rot and sprout.
The best varieties for storage are seasoned varieties of carrots with medium maturity (harvested at 100-110 days). The beginning of harvesting can be determined by the condition of the tops. If the lower leaves have begun to turn yellow, it is time to harvest the carrots.
When the weather is dry, water the beds with carrots abundantly 7 days before harvesting. If prolonged rains are expected, it is necessary to remove the crops before they begin. In cloudy, humid weather the harvested crops are dried under a roof with good ventilation or a draught.
Digging or pulling carrots out of the ground should be extremely careful, trying not to damage the rootcrops. When harvesting root crops, try to shake off the soil without mechanical damage (from banging against each other, scratches from forks, torn off the tops, etc.). The clinging soil is better simply cleaned off gently with a soft glove.
Harvested carrots do not need to be completely cleaned from the soil, it is not recommended to wash them. Prolonged storage in the air with uncut foliage will result in rapid wilting and, in winter, disease.
The foliage is best cut the day the carrots are harvested or the next day. When cutting the haulm, leave a stalk of no more than 1 cm. Recent studies have shown that a perfectly healthy root carrot with trimmed tops (1-2 mm tip, called the line of sleeping peepholes) and the lower tail is better stored (less sickness, not withering, not sprouting). But it is necessary to observe the storage requirements.
Get the carrots under shelter immediately after trimming, airing or (if necessary) drying and sorting. It is very important to store dried fruits. Wet, poorly dried will quickly begin to mold in storage and rot.
When sorting for storage selected absolutely healthy, undamaged, large root crops. Root vegetables selected for storage are kept for 4-6 days in a dark room at temperatures of +10 ... +12°C. Carrots cooled at these temperatures are put into storage by one of the methods described above or using your own well tested and unique.
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