Vegetable garden: how to store fruits and vegetables for the winter?



Above all, the room must be well chosen, as was the cellar of our grandparents. Frost free but cool (between 7 ° and 15 °), dry, well ventilated. Aeration is essential, to avoid any mold.

Preserving vegetables

Let’s start with garlic, onions and shallots: When the foliage has completely yellowed, choose a day with good weather, and with an optimistic weather forecast for the following days. Take them out of the ground using a fork-spade, let them dry on the ground for 2 or 3 days, well spread out, before bringing them in. Above all, do not wash them!

Store them away from humidity, in bundles or braided mats, or spread out in crates or on the floor of an attic, cellar or barn. If you do not hang them, cut the leaves 1 cm from the bulb.

In a healthy place, they can be kept almost until the next harvest … If you have a courtyard facing the sun, hang the braids in the open air, but sheltered from the rain: you just have to serve you, as needed, until September, when they must be put away.

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When in the fall the vegetable gardens are colored with gold and fire, it is the moment to consume, and to preserve pumpkins, Jack be little, Golden apple, Bishop’s Turban, Bright red of Etampes and other gourds

In the ground, they quietly continue to ripen, provided they are isolated from the ground, with a slate, a tile or a plank, so that the autumn rains do not cause them to rot. Do not forget to pick them up before the frost arrives, while leaving one or two, to liven up the garden in the middle of winter, and to provide food for the small animals.

If the squash is ripe, the peduncle is almost cork. They should never be caught by this peduncle. Cut the fruits as close as possible to the stem, keeping a piece of the tail to ensure optimal conservation. Do not hit them, as a “bruise” or a wound will cause them to rot. These squash must be very dry before being placed on a table in the cellar. They keep this way until the very beginning of spring.

The drying of aromatic herbs, a matter of common sense, semade in an airy, dark and dry place to preserve flavor and color. Spread small plants such as thyme out on racks and dry larger plants such as oregano upside down. When the plants are ready, crumble them coarsely into opaque jars. Fine-textured plants like basil or wild garlic leaves have a hard time drying out. Prefer freezing.

Apples, pears, kiwis, in the cellar!

Apples and pears (if the varieties are stored) are picked at the start of their maturity. Do not bump them, and store them on slatted, raised crates. You will be able to do your shopping over the weeks, even months.

At the first frost, the leaves of actinidias (kiwis) begin to fall: it’s time to pick the fruits. Eat the ripe ones right away, keep the others in ventilated crates, especially not near the apples! They will ripen slowly and you can consume them until February. They are tasted when they are flexible under the finger. Check their condition regularly. Each week, take the kiwis needed for your consumption, place them in a fruit bowl, along with apples and bananas. The latter give off ethylene, which activates their maturation.

And the flower tubers

Dahlias, cannas, same fight. In mild climates, the tubers can stay in the ground. Elsewhere, they must be pulled out and overwintered. During November, the foliage turns black and decomposes. This is a sign that the tubers are going dormant and that the uprooting can begin. It is enough to take the tubers out of the ground in order to keep them sheltered.

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Using a fork-spade, dig them up, pricking the tines a good distance from the rods. Remove as much soil as possible by shaking the clods, then cut the stems to 10 cm high.In a crate lined with newspaper and filled with dry peat moss or vermiculite, place the feet next to each other, after having labeled them one by one, with the color, height, shape of the flower, name variety if you know it.

Store this crate in a dry, ventilated and frost-free place. To avoid any risk of rot during the bad season, sprinkle the rhizomes with a fungicide. Remember to check if everything is fine during the winter.

Regularly check the condition of stored products, in order to eliminate those that could contaminate the neighbors.

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