Protect Your Harvest and Make it Last

When the abundant carrot harvest rolls in, it’s time to plan for storing them to last as long as possible. Proper carrot storage through the winter months will help them last and keep them from rotting.

The first step in storing carrots actually begins with your planting plan.

So plan for when you can harvest so that you have a steady supply of fresh carrots throughout the growing season. Then for the last winter crops, you’ll plant your largest batch of carrots.

We enjoyed reading Lorraine’s take in this article shared from her site: VegetableGardeningWithLorraine.com.1)http://www.vegetable-gardening-with-lorraine.com/storing-carrots.html

Storing Carrots

by Lorraine Ayre, Vegetable Gardening with Lorraine

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Number one rule: store only perfect, undamaged carrots. Eat the weird or damaged ones fresh.

Store only perfect undamaged carrots.

I like to grow multiple, sequential plantings of carrots so that I have plenty to eat fresh throughout the growing season, plus have a large final crop to store over the winter.

I plant the final crop for storage in mid-summer. To know exactly when to plant for your fall harvest, take the “days to maturity” date from the seed packet, and count backwards on your calendar from the first fall frost date in your region.

Who Knew? Storing Carrots in The Garden Itself

Unless you live in high latitudes (or altitudes) with severe, prolonged subzero weather, in many US climates you can actually leave carrots in the ground through the winter. This is an excellent solution if you have too many carrots to store in the fridge and don’t have a cold root cellar.

This only works where the winters are cold enough to stop the carrots from growing. If winters are very mild, carrots will keep trying to grow beyond maturity, and will become woody and tough.

To “store” carrots in place in the garden over the winter, you must mulch them deeply.

A good foot or two of nice fluffy deciduous leaves works great. The leaves will pack down considerably over the winter, especially if you have a lot of snow, but they still make surprisingly good insulation.

You want to keep the ground from freezing, so you can dig down under the snow and leaves once a month or so to dig up part of a row. Make sure to mark where the row is, with deep enough stakes to be able to find it when the garden is under a blanket of snow.

Mid-winter harvest is a feel-good activity, that helps me make it through what sometimes feels like the bleakness of winter. (Of course, it’s only “bleak” if I forget to get outside and really see what is going on in nature.)

Editor’s Note: This can be a lot of extra work to cover the beds and then to move enough off at a time to dig down and harvest some. So if you do have another storage option, this may not be your favorite, so head over to page 3 for more options.

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