How to store beets

Any land owner understands that it is important not only to grow an excellent beet crop, but also to save it properly. The rays of the sun, humidity and air, which were necessary in the summer, in the winter time can lead to premature deterioration of healthy root crops. Therefore, it is important to know in advance how to store beets correctly, so that in winter you will not be left without vitamin reserves.

When is it best to collect beets

Think about how to store beets in the winter, you need to start long before the process. For the harvest to be stored for a long time in the basement, cellar or apartment, you need to collect it on time and properly. The term of ripening of the root depends on its variety. Early ripe varieties of vegetables are harvested in late July or early August, late ripening in the second half of September. Mid-ripening varieties that are harvested in storage places somewhere in early September are most popular among gardeners.

In the last summer days, beets are growing rapidly, accumulating a large number of nutrients. If the roots perederzhat in the ground, they can bloom or freeze. Damaged soft vegetables just do not lie for a long time in winter, they quickly deteriorate.

The harvest date must be planned according to weather conditions. If September is warm, vegetable fibers will become very thick, the beets will lose their softness and juiciness. In rainy autumn, too, do not delay the collection of beets, as vegetables from excess moisture can crack and rot. If the autumn is cool and dry, you can hold the roots in the garden for a longer time, since they will last longer in the ground. In addition, vegetables will have enough time to accumulate the maximum amount of nutrients.

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Some gardeners do not understand why the beets during storage in the winter deteriorate quickly, because ideal conditions were created for vegetables. Most often this is due to the fact that varieties are selected for winter storage, which are not suitable for this. Long preserves the appearance and beneficial properties of beet of mid-season and late varieties( Egyptian flat, Single-growth, Bravo, Red ball and others).

The quality of vegetables also depends on the type of soil in which they grew. Loamy and sandy soil is ideal for growing beets. If the soil is acidified, hardenings and cracks form on the surface of the roots. This is how scab manifests itself - a common disease that damages vegetables.

How to prepare the beets for winter storage

After harvesting, they should be prepared for further storage. To do this, you need to perform the following manipulations:

  • Carefully remove some soil from the beets with your hands, without damaging the skin of the vegetable. You can not beat the lumps of earth, hit the vegetables against each other, because of their integrity. It is most convenient to clean the beets from the ground with special gloves for agricultural work. If the roots will remain a small layer of dirt, it will only prolong its shelf life.
  • Cut a vegetable tops with a sharp knife or scissors, leaving the process no more than one centimeter, while trying not to damage the root crop itself. Hands can not tear off the tops.
  • Using scissors, shorten the taproot of beets to 6-7 cm and cut thin roots.
  • After processing, vegetables should be thoroughly dried in the air or in a room protected from moisture. In order for the beets to dry well, it is advisable to lay them out in a single layer on a canvas or burlap. If the weather is dry, the roots will be completely dry in 2-4 hours. In wet weather, drying will take several days. Do not allow direct sun rays on vegetables, otherwise burns on the skin.

For storage for the winter you need to choose hard beets, on which there are no signs of disease, frostbite or visible damage. Medium root vegetables are selected for storage, as a very large beet quickly loses its taste, and small beets very quickly lose moisture and fade. Vegetables selected for storage cannot be washed.

Creating the perfect storage conditions for

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All vegetable growers organize the storage of vegetables for the winter in different ways, depending on their preferences and abilities. Beets are stored indoors( in the cellar or basement, on the balcony or in the refrigerator) or outside( in a trench or pit).Any room selected for storing beets must be thoroughly cleaned and ventilated.

Let us describe the optimal conditions for root crops.

  • Temperature from - 1 to +2 ° C at the beginning of storage and up to + 4 ° C further. It is very important to maintain an optimum temperature in the room in order to avoid the germination of the leaves and the development of various diseases.
  • Humidity not more than 90%.With increased humidity in the room quickly spread fungal diseases that can spoil the integrity and properties of vegetables. If the storage humidity level is very low, the beets shrivel and wither, gradually losing their nutritional and taste properties.

Air masses must be well circulated in any storage facility for fresh vegetables, so that the roots will cool and not fog. Therefore, it is desirable to store beets on an elevation of not less than 15 cm from the floor.

Methods for storing beets in the winter

In essence, they store beets in the same way as any other vegetables. We describe the known methods of storing root crops:

  • In baskets or boxes in small batches.
  • "Pyramids"( slides) or in one layer on a shelf or rack in a spacious storage. The height of the slide should not be more than 75 cm.
  • Bulk in bins or clamps. If the beets are stored in this way, it is necessary that the building with a height of no more than a meter should be located not less than 20 cm above the floor in order for air to circulate freely and the vegetables to cool evenly. If the shoulders or the bins are very large, gas exchange will deteriorate, which will not in the best way affect the safety of the root crops.
  • In solid boxes( with a capacity of no more than 20 kg) with moist sand 2-3 cm thick, poured at the bottom. To determine the required moisture of the sand, you need to squeeze it in your hand( it should turn out to be a lump).Vegetables will be stored longer if you mix sand with crushed chalk( 200 g of chalk per 10 kg of sand) to form an alkaline medium. If there are coasters, the boxes can be arranged in several tiers. Put sand on the bottom of the box, then lay out a number of root crops, then sand again and so on, until the box is full. You can not sprinkle the beets already used sand.
  • in sawdust or peat. This storage method is very similar to the previous one.
  • In boxes after careful treatment with saline or pouring with a mixture of salt and sand.
  • On top of potatoes. Potatoes will be protected from excessive moisture, and beets, absorbing its surplus, retain elasticity. To increase the safety of the crop, you can additionally powder the crop with wood ash powder or pour it with sand.
  • In a mixture of clay. Prepare a solution of clay with the consistency of home-made sour cream, dip the vegetables in it and dry to form a clay crust on their surface. If you use this method, the beets will not lose their nutritional properties and presentation for a long time.
  • In plastic bags with a capacity of up to 40 kg. The bag should be open all the time so that air can flow freely to the vegetables.
  • In the leaves and grass of plants rich in phytoncides: fern, tansy, wormwood, peppermint and others.

Many are forced to store vegetables in the apartment. Beets will keep their freshness warm for 2-3 months, if you put it in a basket or box in one layer. You can keep fresh vegetables on the balcony in a wooden box( the walls of which you need to warm) or an open plastic bag.

If you have a glazed balcony, you can lay out the vegetables in layers in boxes, filling the space between them with dry sawdust or sand. In case of severe frost, the boxes should be covered with blankets.

The beets will last up to 3 months, if you wrap it tightly with food foil or parchment paper and put it in a cool place. Untreated beets for about a month will lie in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, if you carefully control the humidity. Water droplets may collect inside the bag, which will lead to rotting of the roots. In this case, the beets need to pull out of the package and thoroughly dried. Some housewives know a great way to save beets. They clean it, rub it on a grater, and then spread it in a special tray for the freezer.

If you know how to preserve beets and periodically remove infected rootstocks from the crop, then in spring time you will be able to please your family with vitamin and tasty dishes.

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