How to Store Garden Vegetables Long-Term
Storing garden vegetables for an extended period of time can be tricky if the right steps are not taken. In order to ensure vegetables remain in top quality condition, there are a few general steps that can be taken:
Temperature and Humidity Control
One of the most important elements of long-term vegetable storage is having the right temperature and humidity conditions. Temperature should remain between 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity of 85-95%. Keeping the humidity levels high will reduce the chances for dehydration and desiccation of the vegetables.
In terms of containers, having the right type is important for ensuring a long storage life. Plastic bins, cardboard boxes and wooden chests are all good options as they keep consistent temperatures and have air circulation properties. In addition, they should have covers to keep out insects.
It is also important to clearly label all containers as to what vegetable is stored in them.
Apples for Greater Humidity
Apples stored with vegetables can increase humidity levels, lengthening the shelf-life of vegetables. The ripening of apples releases ethylene gas, which helps prevent the vegetables from drying out. It is recommend to place a couple of apples in the container with the vegetables.
It is best to refrigerate vegetables if they are going to be stored for a longer period of time. Refrigerators help slow down the rate of spoilage and will help vegetables last longer.
To prevent vegetables from sprouting, it is important to not wash them before storage. Washing will remove protective layers that will reduce the rate of sprouting.
Check Up on Storage
It is important to periodically check on the vegetable storage containers to ensure all vegetables are in optimal condition. It is also important to discard any moldy or ice-covered vegetables.
In conclusion, with the right storage methods, vegetables can be stored for long periods of time. Temperature, humidity, and containers are all important elements of vegetable storage. Additionally, apples, refrigeration, and checking up on vegetables are all essential.