How to store fresh vegetables through the cold winter

By Louis Nguyen

Author bio: Louis Nguyen is an article writer. After a long time with the COVID-19 epidemic, he spent time researching and setting up his small garden.

Oh, is your vegetable garden ready for the winter harvest? If your family grows too much and cannot use it all. Or want to have a source of clean vegetables that are always ready to serve family meals in the cold winter after Halloween and early spring. Early spring is the time when your garden needs to be renovated and replanted, so often the vegetable garden will not be harvested at this stage. You must be thinking of ways to preserve fresh vegetables and fruits through the cold winter. Because it is not easy to grow vegetables in winter, the vegetables that can be grown in winter are also limited. So, if you have been successful in winter vegetable gardening, don't miss the tips and tricks to help you preserve them.
Because it is not easy to grow vegetables in winter, the vegetables that can be grown in winter are also limited. So, if you have been successful in winter vegetable gardening, don't miss the tips and tricks to help you preserve them.

How to store beets and radishes over the winter

beets and radishes

Beets and beet greens are among the easiest to store during the winter. The best way to preserve them is to keep them in the ground for as long as possible. Gather leaves or thick straw around early November to keep the bulbs that emerge from the ground warm. For gardens in zones 7 and above to keep the ground from freezing. As for the lower areas, you can adjust the time depending on when the ground freezes.

One thing to note is that the leaves of beets and beet plants will wilt and die in cold weather. But the tubers themselves will still be stored directly underground. If you do it properly. Beets and beetroots stored in this way will not continue to grow. But this is only applicable to mature tubers.

How to store carrots and turnips over the winter

turnips

Carrots and turnips, like beets, are stored directly in the ground and covered with a thick layer of leaves or straw to keep the tubers from rotting. But, you should regularly go to the garden to check on them. If they start to soften, proceed to harvest. If your carrots and turnips aren't ready to harvest yet, you can cover them with leaves or a thick layer of straw to keep them warm. This will help prolong their growth time. If you are lucky, when spring comes, you can harvest these tubers.

After harvesting carrots and turnips, do not wash them, but the owner needs to rub them gently to remove excess soil. You can pack it into a plastic bag and store it in the fridge. Or if there are too many, you can cover them in sand or wrap them in plastic bags, put them in a box, and store them in a cool basement. The temperature is about 35 degrees F, and the humidity is high. You will keep them for about 6–8 months.

How to store potatoes over the winter

potatoes

If the soil in your garden is clay or poorly drained, It is not a good idea to store potatoes in the ground. A less labor-intensive way is to harvest them and put them in sacks. Like carrots, don't wash them; just rub it so that the outer layer of soil comes off.

Store them in an area with temperatures around 40 degrees F, high humidity, and darkness. Because light makes potatoes moldy, and you can't eat them. The refrigerator is not a good place to store potatoes. A small tip that people use is to wrap the potatoes in newspaper before putting them in the bin to block the light.

How to store Brussels sprouts and cabbage over the winter

cabbage

Brussels sprouts and cabbage are hardy and winter-friendly vegetables. So, you do not need to worry too much about preserving them in the winter. But, when the weather changes suddenly. The weather shifts from too cold to too warm and vice versa. This affects Brussels sprouts and cabbage, as they have not yet adapted to this temperature change.

You can build tunnels to protect them and maintain the right temperature for them to grow. But the best way is still to harvest them and store them in the refrigerator at room temperature. Well, there's an interesting note. When choosing Brussels sprouts and cabbage seeds, check whether they are good varieties to grow healthy in winter or not.

How to store lettuce and kale over the winter

lettuce

Lettuce and kale are both cold-tolerant vegetables that can be harvested in the dead of winter. You just need to make sure the plant is mature before the first frost. And choose good varieties so that they grow fast and healthy.

How to store onions over the winter

onions

Onions are best stored when they have been dried and stored in a warm, dry place. After harvesting, spread your onions in a dry area and light them up to ensure the temperature is right for them to dry. Because they will last longer if they are dry.

The best way to store dried onions is to place them in a mesh bag or shallow tray. Put them in storage in a cool, dry place at a temperature of about 40 degrees F. You can store them for about 4 months or more. Depending on the maintenance of temperature, the dryness of onions before and during storage

How to store winter squash over the winter

winter squash

Storing winter squash is like storing onions. After the foliage has died off or before the first light frost. Cut them off from the vines, but keep the stalks about 2 inches long. Place them in a warm, dry place, preferably on a crate or pallet to insulate them from the damp ground. Winter squash can be stored properly for 3 to 5 years.

How to prepare a good mulch to protect the vegetable garden in the winter

As you know, mulch from dried leaves or straw will help keep warm and protect the tubers in the winter. But, you will need a few tips to best prepare this coating. The best mulch is dried leaves that have been treated with harmful microorganisms and composted into humus. This is a layer that helps keep moisture for vegetables and provides more nutrients to the soil. Help vegetables grow before the temperature drops.

If you don't have a source of dried leaves, you can use a fresh or partially composted straw instead. The use of hay is not recommended because of the risk of weeds becoming invasive as the weather warms up. You also need to make sure the mulch is at least a few inches thick to properly insulate the plant and is not too thick for the vegetables to wilt or dry out. Depending on the temperature of your garden, add mulch to suit each stage.

Also read: What to choose the organic mulch for your raised garden bed?

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