Harvesting beets and carrots for the winter is not easy. It is important to take into account many nuances here: the time of picking vegetables, the storage conditions that you can provide for them, the duration of storage. Unfortunately, gardeners do not always manage to preserve beets and carrots. These vegetables require the creation of a special microclimate that does not allow them to get wet. There are many options for storing and preparing these vegetables, it is worth considering them in more detail.
Correct harvesting and preparation of the crop
Many articles have been written about how to store beets and carrots for the winter. I would like to pay special attention to their high-quality selection in preparation for winter storage.
- It is necessary to harvest the roots when they are ripe. Do not dig them out ahead of time.
- Taking them out of the ground, you must not damage the skin. For harvesting for the winter, specimens cut in two with a shovel are not suitable.
- The specimens selected for storage are carefully examined. Any hint of pests or disease is a reason to put the root crop aside.
- Washing beets and carrots will quickly deteriorate. If harvesting occurs from wet soil in the rain, the vegetables must be dried a little and cleaned from its residues with your hands.
- In no case should the tails be cut off. Without them, you will not save the fruits of your labor until spring. The fact is that it is they who help the tuber not to lose moisture.
The correct approach and compliance with all conditions will allow you to preserve the taste and juiciness of the crop for a sufficiently long time.
It is important to know not only how to properly store beets, but also when to dig them out. For her, the digging period begins when the tops turn massively yellow. Carrots, even until October, feel great in the ground. So if the weather is not very rainy, you can take your time with its cleaning.
What housewife doesn't want to please her household with crispy carrots or beets in winter? Let's try to figure out if it's really so difficult to keep carrots and beets in good condition until next spring.
Storage methods for beets and carrots
There are several time-honored ways to keep your crop until spring. Many housewives use them to enjoy aromatic and fresh vegetables during the long winter. Depending on the storage location and conditions, everyone chooses the method to their liking.
Proper storage assumes compliance with the conditions for the preparation, laying of vegetables. Regardless of the method chosen, you cannot lay rotten root crops spoiled by worms for the winter.
It is worth remembering that in apartment conditions it is impossible to achieve the required temperature and humidity, as in a cellar. It is in the basements that a good microclimate is created for winter storage of vegetables. It is worth mentioning that all the methods below are suitable for both beets and carrots and are, in fact, universal.
In plastic bags
Those who live in an apartment often face a dilemma: how to store carrots if there is no cellar or basement. Tubers are stacked in packages of 7-10 pcs. Do not form too large packages - beets, like carrots, in this case, can quickly begin to rot. For ventilation, they either make small holes in the bags, or simply do not close them. For reliability, many housewives shift vegetables with fern leaves. This is an additional protection against spoilage.
Storing carrots and beets, sprinkling with sand, is considered one of the most effective ways. There are several nuances here.
- Firstly, the sand used should not be wet, only slightly damp.
- Secondly, for 10 kg of sand, you need to add about 200 gr. chalk or slaked lime. It is in such a mixture that a special alkaline environment will form, in which carrots, like beets, feel great.
For the proper preservation of carrots and beets, a wooden box is taken. Its bottom is covered with a layer of sand, about 5 cm thick. After that, the carrots are laid. But there should only be one layer of carrots. On top of it, sand is again covered in such a way that the first and second layers of vegetables do not come into contact with each other.
The beets are placed in separate boxes. Don't put both types of vegetables together.
A stand is being prepared for the boxes - about 10-15 cm above the floor level. Do not bring them too close to the walls. This little trick will save you from the formation of excess condensate inside the container when the temperature changes. After everything is laid, you can cover the boxes with a lid.
When storing a crop using this method, it is important to know that its total amount in one container should not exceed 20 kg. Otherwise, you will end up with a lot of layers. If the crop begins to rot in them, it will be extremely difficult to notice.
For storage, we select only root crops cleared of the ground, not rotten and not wet. The difference with the previous method is only in the raw materials used. The sand is very heavy, so many housewives prefer to use sawdust instead. Carrots should not be pre-washed if stored in sawdust.
In onion skins
To keep beets in an apartment without a garage or basement, you need to stock up on a lot of onion peels and canvas bags. Fill the bags about three-quarters with beets or carrots, mixing with the husks. So, you can store different types of vegetables together. The main thing is to choose a corner that is darker and cooler.
The crop is well stored in clay. This method is suitable for both beets and its counterpart - carrots. The only drawback is that you need to find such a large amount of clay somewhere.
Initially, the raw materials are prepared in a special way. To do this, it is bred to the consistency of sour cream. On average, you get half a bucket of water per bucket of clay. The mixture settles for about 20-24 hours, during which time all the lumps will dissolve. From time to time it is necessary to interfere with her.
The mixture is again poured with water, it should cover the clay. In this state, the solution is left for about 3 days. After that, you can start styling.
We take a plastic bag and cover the box with it. One layer of beets is laid out at the bottom. Clay prepared in advance is poured into it. Beets dry out for several hours. This is followed by the next layer. And so on until the box is full. It remains only to close it on top with polyethylene and a lid.
Of course, it is very problematic to perform such a procedure at home. The process is messy enough. It is best to do this outdoors or in the basement.
Beets can be stored in a garlic mash. Before you start pouring vegetables, they are kept in a garlic infusion. A glass of garlic is passed through a meat grinder. It is insisted for several hours in 2 liters. water.
The clay solution is prepared in the same way as described above. When the beets are collected and cleaned of dirt, they are soaked in a garlic solution for several minutes, then dipped in clay. The coated roots are laid out to dry, and then put into prepared boxes.
Even at low temperatures, beets will not freeze and retain their color and aroma.
Not only beets, but also carrots feel great in a clay solution, until the end of winter they remain juicy and tasty, as if they had just come from the garden.
In the ground
A good and proven way to get crispy carrots right after the winter cold, by the first spring rays, is to bury them in the ground in the fall. It is used in many villages. Of course, there are some peculiarities. First you need to find a place. In order for the roots to retain their appearance, it is necessary to choose the driest place that is freed from snow in the first place.
Next, you need to dig a hole about 1 meter deep. The correct form of carrots is laid in it. Do not put more than 1.5-2 buckets of beets or carrots in one hole.
At any temperature outside, under a layer of snow and earth, vegetables will not freeze. In the spring, in March-April, they need to be dug up.
The disadvantages of this method include the fact that your vegetables can be found by rodents. Nobody is immune from this. In addition, it is only suitable for those who live in their own home and have their own vegetable garden.
Storing carrots and beets is not an easy task. But what to do with those specimens that are not suitable for bookmarking before winter? They can always be frozen, dried, preserved.
If you know other ways of laying vegetables for the winter, be sure to write it to us in the comments. We would be glad to receive your advice and comments.