Summer is quickly ending, and with it seasonal vegetables. Fans of eating healthy and tasty squash dishes try to keep the harvest as long as possible. And this is quite possible, because pumpkin seeds are stored until January-February without losing their beneficial properties. True, by the spring there is nothing of value left in them. We will figure out where and how to store zucchini and properly prepare them for this.
They talked about storing the zucchini crop in a short video
All about long-term storage of zucchini
What varieties can be stored for a long time
How to prepare fruits for storage
4 proven methods
— In the basement
— In a refrigerator
— In the room
— In the freezer
What varieties are to be stored
Not all varieties will tolerate long-term maturation. All early ripe ones are best eaten fresh or made into blanks. But among the middle and late-ripening there are many «long-livers». It is good if high keeping quality is indicated on the package with seeds. This means that vegetables can be stored for a long time. So, the “Festival” or the “Golden Cup” will lie for five or even more months. «Arlika», «Yellow-fruited», «Pear-shaped» are stored for a month less. «Anchor» or «Negro» will lie for two or three months.
If the variety is unknown, this happens when buying on the market, you can navigate by appearance. It is believed that the most durable are white-fruited specimens with a dense thick skin. All varieties of zucchini store well, including yellow and green varieties. But green and yellow varieties of ordinary zucchini are stored worse. They are best frozen or processed.
How to prepare vegetables for storage
All recommendations on how to properly store zucchini at home begin with instructions for picking vegetables. And this is really very important. Proper harvesting determines the keeping quality of the crop. The best time to harvest fruit is on a sunny day. Excess moisture is undesirable. Each specimen is carefully cut with a sharp knife. Leave a peduncle at least 4-5 cm long. A cut is required. When twisting the stalk, as is usually done when harvesting, the stem splits into fibers. This provokes decay.
The collected vegetables are carefully examined and selected. Those that will be stored for storage must be intact, without the slightest sign of disease. Even scratches on the skin are undesirable — this is a «gate» for infection, which can become more active during the maturation process.
Dirty fruits should not be washed. They are carefully wiped with a dry cloth to remove particles of dirt. After that, the selected specimens are placed in a dry, sunny place for a day or two. During this time, they will dry out, the skin will thicken. Then the stalks are dipped in molten paraffin or wax, they can be powdered with ash or activated charcoal. The fruits are ready for long storage.
Optimal storage conditions
The problem of how to store zucchini for the winter is easily solved if you know the optimal storage conditions for vegetables. The longest they lie at a temperature of +4 to +11˚С. Humidity should be in the range of 83-85%. These are ideal conditions. Small deviations are also possible. So, the temperature can be higher, but not more than 23-24 ˚С. Humidity can drop to 75%.
Excessive cooling is extremely unhealthy for pumpkin. Lowering the temperature even to small minus levels leads to freezing and rotting of the fruit. It is necessary to save the squash crop in complete darkness. Light is bad for him. Good ventilation is desirable in the storage, otherwise the humidity will increase, which will lead to rotting of vegetables. It is undesirable that they are in contact. There should be a small distance between instances. Under such conditions, pumpkin will lie for a long time.
How to keep zucchini fresh for the winter
We offer several effective ways to keep vegetables until spring. Let’s analyze each of them in detail.
1. In the basement or cellar
This is one of the best ways to store zucchini for the winter at home, as the temperature and humidity in the room is close to ideal for squash. Despite this, vegetables must be properly stored. This can be done in different ways.
- Hanging. A piece of twine, cord or any strong thread is tied to the stalk. With their help, vegetables are suspended from the ceiling of the cellar or basement. It is undesirable that they are in contact, therefore, the specimens are fixed at a certain distance from one another. Small zucchini can be tied in pairs.
- Stacking on shelving. Before laying the crop, the shelves are covered with paper, cardboard or straw. Vegetables are neatly laid out, be sure to leave them a distance. They must not touch each other. If it is light in the basement, the shelf is covered with cardboard or straw.
- Bookmark in boxes. You can store pumpkin in cardboard boxes or wooden boxes. They are laid in rows or placed one near the other with the stalks up. It is advisable to separate the copies from each other with corrugated cardboard, paper partitions or something similar. You can put sawdust in a box, the same is done when storing beets or carrots. Filled boxes are placed on the floor or the lower shelves of the racks.
From time to time, pumpkins stored in the cellar or basement must be inspected and turned over. It is best to do this every one and a half to two weeks. If spots, plaque or softening and darkening of the stem are noticed, the damaged copy is immediately removed. Otherwise, he will infect those lying nearby. Regular inspection will help keep the fruits as long as possible.
2. In the fridge
Many people doubt whether it is possible to store zucchini in the refrigerator. Indeed, this is not the best way to save gourds. The temperature here is lower than necessary, and the humidity is quite high. Therefore, one must understand that in the refrigerator, vegetable stocks lie on average one to two months. And then on condition that they will lie in the compartment for fruits and vegetables, where optimal humidity is maintained, and the temperature does not fall below +4 ˚С.
Let’s figure out how to store zucchini in the refrigerator. They shouldn’t have any neighbors. It is best to put each copy in an individual paper bag or wrap it in paper. You can use plastic bags for this, but then you need to make small holes in them to evaporate moisture. In this form, pumpkin is placed in a container. Well, if you can put them in one layer. If not, stacking in rows is allowed.
3. In the room
In some cases, pumpkin has to be stored at room temperature. It is not quite suitable for long-term storage, but for short-term it is quite acceptable. Under such conditions, both yellow and green varieties will lie without loss for two to three weeks. The place where to store zucchini in the summer in the apartment is better to choose cooler. The fruits are placed in a box or in a box. The container is placed in a dark place: under the bed, in the pantry, etc. If possible, you can simply spread the fruits on the floor.
If you plan to keep the crop until spring, do otherwise. Prepare a container for storage. These can be plastic or wooden boxes. It is important that the walls are not solid. You can take a cardboard box, but then you have to cut holes for the evaporation of condensate. The bottom of the container is lined with paper. The fruits are placed in a box or box with the stalks up. It is advisable to lay cardboard or thick paper between them.
Choose a cool place in the apartment. It can be a warmed balcony, storage room, closed loggia. Here they put the container. You do not need to close the drawers, however, if the room is light, you will have to do this. About once every one and a half to two weeks, zucchini is inspected, rotten specimens are removed.
4. In the freezer
All varieties are suitable for freezing, including green and yellow. It is best to freeze mature specimens. After defrosting, they retain a dense texture and do not fall apart. True, the skin of ripened fruits can be tough, then it needs to be peeled. Seeds will also need to be removed.
Wash and dry zucchini before freezing. Then the stalk is removed and cleaned, if necessary. After that, start cutting. Its shape may be different, it depends on the preferences of the hostess. For soups or stews, cubes are cut, for frying and snacks — thin circles. The cuts are laid out on a cutting board or pallet in a thin layer, sent to the freezer for two to three hours. After that, the frozen pieces are laid out in bags and put back into the freezer. Shock freezing technology allows you to save all the nutrients and vitamins.
We figured out how and where to store zucchini at home. They are very simple but effective. If you use them correctly, you can save the crop until spring.