Storing Root Crops In The Garden

Storing root crops in your garden. There are ways to enjoy your garden produce all winter long, straight from your garden.

Even if you live in harsher climates, there are ways to enjoy your crops right through the winter. Live storage is best for root crops and below are listed some types of root crops, along with other produce, and ways to maintain their "garden life" as long as possible.

One way to store root crops is with a storage bin made out of bales of hay. Using eight bales of hay, form a rectangle, leaving the center empty for crops. Put hay down first in center opening and then put in your produce. Put loose hay over each item, also, then over the entire pile. (This method is especially suited for potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, pumpkin, radishes, winter squash and turnips.) Put two more bales of hay over center storage area, but be sure to raise one end of them up, laying them on a board or 2" x 4" for air circulation. If the weather is going to be severe, remove the board to seal the opening.

You can also store your produce the same way Grandma used to... with a wooden barrel. (This method works epecially well for apples, too). Dig a hole big enough to put half of the drum or barrel down into. Fill barrel with apples or other produce. To cover barrel you can use a burlap sack filled with straw or leaves, weighted down with rocks. Cover above ground sides of barrel with dirt.

To store cabbage in the garden, you can simply dig a trench, put cabbages in the trench, root side up, and cover with soil. If you think the temperatures are going to be especially brutal, cover the trenches with hay. Brussel sprouts are probably the easiest winter storage crop, as they like temperatures right around freezing and require no special attention. They can simply be left where they are until needed.

Using some of these methods, your harvest should stretch further through the winter and you will be saving storage space indoors.

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