Beets are easy to grow on the site, so in the fall, most gardeners harvest a bountiful harvest. Root crops retain all their useful properties for nine months after harvesting, so their long-term home storage is possible. Let’s figure out how to store beets for the winter in an apartment without loss.
All about long-term storage of beets
How to prepare vegetables for harvesting
Under what conditions is it stored?
6 Ways to Save Your Harvest
– Processing with clay glaze
— Salt treatment
— Bookmark with potatoes
— in plastic bags
— In a refrigerator
How to prepare root crops for storage
To keep the crop as long as possible, you need to properly harvest it. First of all, you need to do it on time. There are early, mid-season and late varieties of root crops. Each group has its own purpose. So, early ripe vegetables are not stored, they are eaten immediately or processed. Do the same with mid-season varieties.
It is important to correctly determine the time of cleaning. This can be seen by the state of the tops: the lower leaves dry up and fall off. Rings appear on the part of the root that protrudes above the ground. All these are signs that the beets are ripe and can be harvested. If you do this later, it will become rough, hard fibers will appear inside. Overripe fruits are hard and tasteless, and it is impossible to fix this. Harvesting earlier is also not recommended — an unripe watery vegetable will begin to rot.
Harvest in dry and warm weather. It is desirable that it stand for several days, then there will be no excess moisture in the soil. The beets are carefully removed from the ground, the tops are immediately cut off. If you do this later, the leaves will draw moisture from it, which the vegetable is already lacking. Cut off the tops with a sharp knife, but do not twist, otherwise you can damage the delicate skin. Leave no more than 5-10 mm of stems. The roots, with the exception of the central one, are cut off immediately. If they are thick and large, do it after drying.
Root crops do not need to be washed, even if wet earth has stuck to them. She is allowed to dry a little, then with gloved hands, the adhering lumps are carefully cleaned off. Do not use sharp objects, otherwise the skin will be damaged. Peeled beets are left to dry, you can right in the garden. This is necessary in order for her skin to thicken. So it will be better stored.
For drying, choose a well-ventilated warm place.
What conditions do beets need
To properly store beets for storage for the winter, you need to know the storage conditions. The root crop is sensitive to moisture. With its decrease, it quickly loses moisture, dries, becomes flabby. High humidity is not good either. Dampness provokes rotting of fruits. The optimal humidity at which beets are stored the longest is 80-90%. Deviations from these indicators are undesirable.
The vegetable is also sensitive to temperature changes. It does not tolerate sudden jumps, it needs a consistently cool temperature in the range from 0 to + 3˚С. At higher values, the root crop will start growing, at low values it will freeze. Light is highly undesirable. Beets should only be stored in the dark, otherwise they will begin to sprout and wither.
How to store beets at home
The easiest way is to create the conditions necessary for storing the root crop in the cellar or basement. But, unfortunately, not everyone has such an opportunity. We have collected proven ways to keep beets in the apartment.
Clean sifted sand will retain moisture, which is so necessary for root crops. Before backfilling, it is desirable to ignite it in order to kill all pathogenic microflora. Dirty material with inclusions of organic matter cannot be used: it will provoke fungal diseases and fruit rot. For laying choose a plastic or wooden box.
Two or three centimeters of prepared sand are poured to the bottom, beets are laid on top so that the barrels do not touch. Cover vegetables with sand and lay the next layer. The upper specimens are covered with sand. Moisten the backfill lightly immediately, then do so regularly as the moisture evaporates. The box is placed in a cool pantry, on a heated balcony or loggia.
2. Processing with clay glaze
This is a rather laborious method, according to which a protective layer of clay glaze is applied to each fruit. It helps retain moisture and partially protects the vegetable from pathogenic microflora. Clay mixture is very easy to prepare.
Clay powder, sometimes crushed chalk is added to it, kneaded with water. It should be a fairly thick paste. Beetroots are alternately dipped into it, the excess mass is allowed to drain and the fruits are hung or laid to dry. Dried specimens are processed again. After the glaze has hardened, they are placed and stored in a cool, dark place.
3. Salt treatment
To prevent rotting, root crops are treated with a strong salt solution. It is prepared in the proportion of 10 g of edible salt per liter of water. The fruits are dipped in liquid, then laid out to dry. Naturally dried specimens are placed in a box. It is best to additionally sprinkle them with sand, sawdust, crushed foam or chalk, peat, etc. The box must be removed in a cool place.
4. Bookmark near potatoes
These vegetables keep very well together. Potatoes do not tolerate excess moisture, and beets, on the contrary, need it. Therefore, when they are laid in layers or next to each other, the root crops «pull» excess moisture from the potatoes. As a result, both vegetables lie for a long time and do not deteriorate. Such a bookmark can only be done in cool storages. A heated loggia, a cold pantry or an unheated balcony, on which an insulated storage box is equipped, will do.
5. In plastic bags
Plastic bags retain moisture well, so the beets lie in them for a long time. But there are a few important points. First of all, condensation must not be allowed to form, otherwise the crop will rot. Therefore, before laying in the bags, small holes are made for “breathing”. At the bottom of the container, a hygroscopic material must be poured: mustard powder, sawdust, perlite, something like that. If necessary, it will absorb excess water. Vegetables are placed in the bag only dry and clean. The container must not be closed: the bag must be open to provide the necessary ventilation. You can’t leave it warm either. The packages prepared in this way are stored on the balcony, loggia, in the garage.
6. In the fridge
If the crop is small, you can store it in the refrigerator. To do this, it is placed in a special vegetable compartment or on the middle shelf. Vegetables do not need to be washed before packing. Each copy is wrapped in paper or foil. You can put them in plastic bags prepared as described above.
An apartment is not the best place to store beetroot crops. It’s too warm for him here. However, if desired, you can arrange the optimal storage space. So, a closed box on a warm loggia or on a balcony is best suited. It is important that there is a positive temperature throughout the winter. If the balcony is not heated, a cellar box is equipped. Its walls are laid out with insulation, additional heating is connected in case of severe frosts. In any case, vegetables should be regularly sorted out, rotten and diseased removed. Otherwise, the entire contents of the box will rot. Before the onset of severe frosts, it is advisable to additionally cover the home vegetable store.