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Harvesting and Storing Root and Tuber Crops this Fall
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Harvesting and Storing Root and Tuber Crops this Fall

If the above-ground portion of both root and tuber crops look healthy then you can only assume that everything below ground is fine. Barring bad soil and insect infestation harvest should be great. Storing these crops after harvest is not as difficult as you might think and most will keep for months.

Ground Storage

It is possible to leave crops like potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips and onions in the ground until frost begins to damage the plant tops. You should immediately pull them from the round when the frost arrives to avoid losing the harvest. This gives you a while to simply enjoy pulling them to use as necessary. They are very hearty plants and can withstand cold well.

Proper Ground Harvesting

When you do harvest these crops from the ground you should use a spade or fork and gently dig them up. Cut the tops of the plants down to ½-inch and no less. You can rub off the excess dirt, but do not wash them until you plan to use them. Do not strip away the roots as it helps retain the nutrients and keeps them from spoiling right away. They need to be kept at 32 to 40 degrees F and humidity of 90 to 95%.

Refrigerator Storage

The easiest way to store these vegetables in the refrigerator is to place like ones in a freezer bag in a single layer. It is even better if you can store them in vacuum bags to remove as much air as possible. You can stack these bags on any shelf in your refrigerator and use as you need them. Check them each month to make sure that there are no signs of rotting. They should become sweeter and richer as they sit and age.

Moist Sand Storage

Add 3 or 4 inches of moist sand to the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. Add the desired vegetables you are wanting to store and cover with moist sand. Simply pull them as you need them. They can be stored for months in the basement with this method. It is a great way to have fresh vegetables all winter long. This is how the term “root cellar” came about.


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Leave a Comment

  1. Support
    GREAT practical information! Thanks for contributing to The Flaming Vegan!
    Log in to reply.
  2. Rainbow Plant Based Cook
    Rainbow Plant Based Cook
    BabblingInk, Vote #6! The potatoes in the picture look like Yukon Golds. I love the buttery taste of Yukon Golds. Thanks for the information on storage requirements.
    Log in to reply.
  3. RAC
    Great information and very informative. Voted
    Log in to reply.


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