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Question

Jacqueline
What are the ideal conditions for storing different vegetables?
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Answer

Here are some pointers on storing vegetables. If your conditions aren't just right, don't worry -- your veggies will still store, just not as long. Be sure to monitor your stored crops every 2-3 weeks and sort out ones that are turning.Root veggies and tubers Wash and lightly scrub and store in plastic pails or perforated poly bags, best at 31?-33?F / 0?C with high humidity. If you wash them first, they stain less in storage. In a plastic pail, monitor moisture weekly, regulating it with the lid position, more or less ajar. You don't want drying out, nor do you want root surfaces to have visible water droplets. And give the roots some space - don't pack them tightly in the pail - for example, arrange a loose layer of parallel carrots, then run the second row the other direction.Onions, shallots, garlic Keep these cold, like roots, but not so humid. Use onion bags or airy boxes.Cabbage Cold and humid like roots. You can also pile heads in the cold corner of the porch or detached garage and cover with hay, leaves, etc. If a cabbage head is a bit frozen, allow it to thaw slowly, like over a day or two, and the leaves will be undamaged.Brussels sprouts Remove leaves, store like cabbage. They will be good for a month or so. For longer keeping, retain the roots and stand up the plants in 5-gallon pails with some soil in the bottom. Sprinkle the soil to keep it moist.Leeks Lift leeks with a fork and trim leaves (optional) to 8" long. Pack them upright in 5 G (19 L) plastic pails with 2 in (5 cm) moist soil at the bottom. Humid and cold like roots. Add water as needed to keep soil moist.Peppers Medium-cold (40?-50?F / 5?-10?C) and humid.Tomatoes Cool (45?-65?F / 7?-18?C), ideally also humid (80%+).Squash/pumpkin Cool (50?-60?F / 10?-16?C), rather dry (50%RH).Source: Johnny's Selected Seeds monthly e-newsletter Photo: Newfoundland root cellar courtesy of Raphael Borja

 

 

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