Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
How can I store my fresh garden fruits and vegetables?
Rate This FAQ
Proper care at harvest and correct storage make it possible to enjoy your garden’s bounty for weeks or even months into the winter. No single storage method is correct for all fruits and vegetables. Here are some tips for specific produce.
* TOMATOES should be picked just before the first killing frost. Pick those that are just turning slightly pink or those turning light green or slightly white. They need not be individually wrapped, but keep them in a single layer as it’s easier to check for spoilage. Keep them at about 50 to 55 degrees. They will ripen at 70 degrees. They don’t need to be put in sunlight to ripen and may sunburn in a window.
* GREEN PEPPERS that are firm, mature and the correct color can be kept for two to three weeks in perforated bags in a cool location.
* ONIONS should be left in the ground until there is a hard frost if the tops are still intact. If the tops fall over on their own or dry up, the onion bulb should be harvested. They can be dug and left on top of the ground to cure for a few days and then put in a shady area until the tops and scales on the outside of the bulbs are dry. The most important thing is good air circulation. Do not put onions in paper sacks or boxes. Once they are cured and dry, place them in mesh bags (or use old pantyhose) so they will continue to have good circulation. Store them in a cool, dry location.
* POTATOES are best left on the vine in the soil. As long as the vines are green and growing keep potatoes watered to increase your yield. Once the vines have died down you should leave the potatoes in the ground for 10 to 14 days to allow the skins to cure so they will scuff less when they are dug. Remove loose soil and wash the potatoes if you wish. Make sure the potatoes are thoroughly dry before storing at 35 to 40 degrees. When using potatoes from storage, bring them to room temperature for a week or so before using them. This will reverse the process of starches turning to sugar at the cooler temperatures.
* PUMPKINS and WINTER SQUASH should be left on the vine until the rind is hard and cannot be easily scratched. Leave an inch of stem to prevent rotting at the crown.
* PARSNIPS, CARROTS and BEETS can be stored right in the ground. Once the tops have frozen, mulch over the row to keep the ground from freezing so hard that you can’t dig the vegetables. Label your rows so you can find what you want when snow covers the ground. If you don’t store these root vegetables in the garden, dig them before the ground freezes. Remove excess soil, cut off stems, and store in a pit or storage cellar. Beets will not keep as long as carrots. Parsnips develop better flavor after several weeks in cold, moist conditions.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I live in Lindon and have heavy clay soil. I have been adding leaves and grass to my garden soil and it still compacts rapidly. Can I use the compost from the green and public waste dept. on a vegetable garden?
- Are there any crops I can plant now (mid-July) in my garden as my early vegetables finish? My sugar snap peas, onions, beets, spinach, etc. have all left empty space in the garden I'd like to put to use. What are the best choices for fall harvest in the Salt Lake Valley?
- I have heard that some of my tomatoes have tomato blight. What is it and how do identify it? The leaves on the plants curl and then the plant dies. However, the fruit still sets and matures as the plant is dying.
- When is the best time to plant annual flowers outside?
- I have two Espalier apple trees and I would like to know when is the best time to prune them and should they produce every year or do they only produce by cycle's (every so many years)?
- Moved to a new location in Riverton and started a garden. This spring I added compost and steer manure. The garden is watered using secondary irrigation. The leaves on the beans, corn, and strawberries turn yellow with a burned look on the outer edges of the leaves and then the plant dies. The tomatoes and melon plants all seem to be doing well. Any idea's?
- I would like to fertilize for weeds, but it has been so hot lately. Is there anything I can do this time of the year to kill weeds in my lawn, and if so, should I use granules or a spray?
- How do I protect my zukes and cukes from the annual onslaught of squash bugs?