Healthy and tasty beets are unpretentious in care and give a bountiful harvest. It rarely goes to processing, more often it is laid down for storage. If everything is done correctly, it will lie without big losses until next summer. Let’s figure out how to properly store beets in the cellar for the winter.
All about storing beets in the cellar
— In sand
— in salt
— in the leaves
— in boxes
— in clay
— in packages
How to prepare root crops for storage
In order for crop losses to be minimal or non-existent during the storage period, it is first necessary to choose the right variety for planting. Early ripe varieties are not suitable for this. They ripen early, tender and sweet, but not at all soft. Deteriorate a few weeks after harvest.
Harvested in the phase of full ripeness. It is easy to determine it by the yellowing and fading lower leaves or by small tubercles on the «crown» of the root protruding above the ground. An overripe and unripe vegetable will not be stored for a long time, so it is important to correctly determine the timing of the collection. It is desirable to harvest beets on a warm and clear day. It is very good if there was no rain for at least a week before. Watering is stopped 14 days before harvest.
It is necessary to remove the heads from the ground very carefully. They are dug up with a pitchfork or a shovel, then carefully pulled out of the ground. This is necessary so as not to damage the delicate skin. The beets removed to the surface are cleaned of adhering dirt. They also do it very carefully. You can not beat the heads against each other or on the ground. They are carefully wiped with a soft cloth or hands in fabric gloves without strong pressure.
Roots are cut off from peeled root crops. All lateral thin branches are removed completely, the long central root is shortened to 5-7 cm. After that, the tops are cut off, but not completely. Leave «tails» 5-8 mm high. Now the heads need to dry. In good weather, this can be done outdoors, in rainy weather — in a well-ventilated area.
Root crops are laid out in one layer and left for 2-3 days. This is enough for the skin to dry out and harden. If harvesting was carried out in wet weather, drying should be extended to 6-7 days. Dried vegetables are sorted. Damaged and with signs of disease are immediately discarded. The rest is best divided by size. Medium specimens keep best. Small and too large spoil earlier. It is better to put them separately.
6 proven ways to store beets for the winter in an apartment
How to prepare a cellar
It is not difficult to organize the storage of beets for the winter in the cellar. With proper arrangement of the premises, the conditions in it are close to ideal for the preservation of the vegetable. It needs coolness with a temperature ranging from 0 to + 2˚С. This is what is kept in most basements and cellars. The root crop prefers high humidity in the range of 85-90%. This is somewhat higher than required by other plants, but if desired, it can be provided for it. High humidity and stale air are excellent conditions for pathogenic microflora, so good ventilation is also important.
Before laying vegetables, the storage must be cleaned of the remnants of last year’s stocks, if necessary, washed and dried well. It is advisable to carry out disinfection measures, for example, treatment with a sulfuric smoke bomb or whitewash the walls with lime. In a disinfected room, root crops will last longer.
You need to prepare racks or shelves. Putting a container with beets on the floor is undesirable; there should be at least a small gap between the floor and the bottom of the box. You can build a bin, like for potatoes, or make a deck. Condensation often forms on the walls of the room, so you should not move boxes close to them or pour vegetables. Too much moisture will cause rot.
Proven ways to store beets in the cellar
After the vegetables and the room are prepared for storage, you can start laying the crop. This can be done in different ways. Let’s analyze the most effective ways to keep beets in the cellar in winter.
1. In the sand
2. In salt
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3. In leaves
Some plants have a large supply of phytoncides that prevent the reproduction of pathogenic microflora. Thus, they protect root crops from infection with bacterial and fungal infections.
4. In boxes
Wicker baskets and any other similar containers will do. Beet heads are placed in them in several layers, the containers are placed on racks or shelves. You don’t need to cover it.
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5. In clay
For long-term storage of beets for the winter in a basement with low humidity, it is best to pre-treat the fruits. To preserve moisture, the beets are dipped in a clay mash. After it dries, a layer of «glaze» is formed, which does not allow water to evaporate from the pulp. To prepare the talker, they take greasy clay, you can add a little crushed chalk to it, dilute everything with water. The finished mass in consistency should resemble thick sour cream. Root crops are lowered into it one by one so that they are completely covered with liquid clay. Then lay them out to dry. Dried vegetables are stored in any container or in bulk.
6. In bags
Plastic bags retain moisture well, so you can store vegetables in them. This method is also good for saving space in small cellars. Prepare dense packages of large sizes, so that they include about 20-30 kg. Root crops are laid in them. So that the condensate that has accumulated inside does not provoke decay, several holes are made in different parts of the package. Through them, excess moisture will come out. The prepared package is placed on a stand or flooring. They cannot be placed on the floor.
Regardless of which storage method is chosen, from time to time it is necessary to inspect the crop stored in the cellar. Remove all rotten and spoiled specimens, otherwise they will infect other fruits.
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