How to properly store vegetables and fruits in the cellar

Preparing a cellar or basement for storing vegetables and fruits in winter is just as important as the process of growing and caring for plants in a country garden. This is explained by the fact that an improperly prepared room, as well as improper storage conditions in the basement, can lead to the death of the entire harvest. You need to start preparing a basement for storing vegetables and fruits well in advance of the expected date of harvesting the new harvest.

Very unpleasant moments for any summer resident are rodents and insects that can destroy vegetables and fruits, as well as the spread of fungus and dampness on the walls of the proposed storage facility. Preparing a cellar (basement) for storing vegetables and fruits involves a number of measures, the main ones of which are ventilating the room, carrying out disinfection work, and insulating the walls if necessary. After all this work has been carried out, we can confidently say that vegetables, fruits, various pickles and preserves, as well as planting material will be safe and sound.

Ventilation and drying of the cellar or basement

Preparing the cellar for winter begins with thorough ventilation of the room. Many summer residents consider it necessary to start doing this in the spring, however, this is not recommended, since this time of year is characterized by sudden temperature changes, leading to the formation of condensation on the walls and ceiling, which subsequently turns into mold. It is best to do this in early autumn, which will help avoid excessive moisture on the walls and getting them wet. It will not be superfluous to dry all the equipment in the cellar in the fresh air. It is recommended to dry it in the shade under a canopy, since exposure to bright sunlight on wooden equipment can lead to its deformation. If there are moldy boards on the racks, they resort to cleaning the damaged areas, and the rotten boards are replaced with new ones. Wooden structures in a cellar or basement for storing vegetables and fruits in conditions of high humidity are an ideal environment for fungus and various microorganisms that cause rot and diseases of fruit and vegetable products. That is why, after the drying process, it is necessary to resort to cleaning them with a stiff brush, as well as processing using a blowtorch.

How to properly store preparations for the winter: dried fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, preserves, jam

Anyone involved in canning vegetables, fruits and mushrooms for the winter understands that making jam or pickling milk mushrooms is only half the battle.
It is important that homemade preserves are stored correctly, because it is very disappointing if a jar of tomatoes or cucumbers explodes, the jam ferments, and dried fruits become damp and begin to rot. Some housewives are interested in whether it is possible to store the preparations at home or whether it is better to keep them in more suitable conditions, for example in a basement or cellar, so that their souls will be calmer. However, the processed harvest can also be stored at home, and not everyone has a basement or a country house with an underground floor.

It is important to determine its place for each jar, create a suitable climate for pickles and jams, and then until spring you will be able to enjoy delicious snacks and have family tea parties with aromatic jam. So, let's talk about how to store food for the winter in order to provide your family with vitamins and diversify your winter diet.

If the jam is cooked according to the recipe, poured into a sterile container and tightly sealed, you don’t have to worry, nothing will happen to it. But where is the best place to store jam so that it remains tasty for a long time, and is it possible to leave it at room temperature? Place the jars in a dry and not hot room (in the bedroom under the bed, away from heating radiators, in a pantry, on an insulated loggia), and the jam will be perfectly preserved.

Remember that in damp rooms mold spots appear on its surface. Jam also overwinters well in kitchen cabinets that are periodically ventilated. It is not advisable to store jam at high temperatures, but in extreme cases (if there is no way out), grease the top of the tin lids with Vaseline to ensure a tight seal.

Sometimes the question arises whether jam can be stored in the freezer or in plastic bottles. It is better to place fresh berries, pureed with sugar, in the freezer if you are not going to roll them into jars. Frozen berries are useful for making fruit drinks, pies and other desserts, and classic jam is stored in the usual way, unless you are preparing so-called frozen jam.

Pickled mushrooms and mushroom caviar are rolled up with metal or glass lids and stored in a very cool place - in the refrigerator, underground, cellar or basement. Under no circumstances should you roll up salted mushrooms, since in this case you create favorable conditions for the development of botulism. Salted mushrooms should be stored only under plastic lids at temperatures up to 6 °C.

One way to preserve mushrooms for the winter is by drying, but since dried mushrooms easily absorb moisture and foreign odors, they must be stored properly. We’ll talk about how to take care of the optimal microclimate for storage. Store mushrooms in dry, ventilated areas in tightly closed glass and metal jars or moisture-proof bags, away from foods with strong odors.

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Moisture is detrimental to mushrooms - they begin to become damp and become moldy, so some experienced mushroom pickers, before packing dried mushrooms into jars, pour a little vodka into the lid, then set it on fire and immediately screw the jar back on. The resulting carbon dioxide displaces oxygen, as a result of which the mushrooms are not at risk of mold even with poor drying.

Compliance with the recipe, careful sterilization and sealing of the jars allows you to store canned vegetables at room temperature (up to 15 ° C). Additional conditions for long-term storage are a dry room, location away from the stove and heat sources. If jars of cucumbers are kept warm, they may explode or turn sour; in the cold, the glass may burst, and the vegetables will be too flabby and soft.

The main problem with storing dried fruits and vegetables is that if they are not dried enough, they become a tasty morsel for beetles and other household pests that can quickly destroy a carefully harvested crop. For this reason, dried vegetables and fruits are placed in glass jars, which are considered more airtight; moreover, a quick inspection of the contents allows you to detect insects in time and take action.

It is allowed to store dried fruits in plastic containers, tightly tied dense fabric bags, plastic or paper bags in a dry place at a temperature of 0–10 ° C. Twice a month, dried vegetables and fruits are sorted, carefully inspecting the fruits. If you want to make your life easier, follow all the drying rules, since properly dried foods do not absorb moisture and do not attract pests.

Let's talk about how to store dried apples, which is especially important during a harvest year. Dried apple slices are packaged not only in glass jars, but also in wooden, plywood, and cardboard boxes lined with paper on the inside. The apples are placed as tightly as possible, and the tops are securely covered with the ends of the paper so that there are no gaps left.

Properly prepared pickled mushrooms with metal lids last on average for a year, with glass lids - two years, but it is better to eat them much earlier. The shelf life of salted mushrooms is no more than six months, dried mushrooms - up to two years. The life of canned vegetables is also not long - from several months to a year, depending on the type of preparation and storage conditions.

How long jam can be stored depends on the recipe and the amount of sugar: the sweeter the jam, the longer it will last. Properly brewed jam can wait three years, maintaining its taste, aroma, vitamin composition and “marketable” appearance. How long can you store raspberry jam, currant jam and berries with seeds?

The shelf life is not related to the berry varieties, but the seeds contain hydrocyanic acid, which releases toxic substances during long-term storage. Therefore, cherry or plum jam should be eaten within a maximum of one and a half years. How long can homemade dried fruit be stored in the right conditions? Unfortunately, the lifespan of homemade dried fruits does not exceed a year, so they are eaten as quickly as possible - they are boiled into compotes, used in baking, in the preparation of salads, sauces and desserts.

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Cellar floor treatment

Pour a solution of copper sulfate over the floor and give it two hours to soak. Sprinkle a thin layer of powdered lime on top. Then a layer of sand. And we cover it all with walnut leaves. After such disinfection, the cellar must be ventilated for a month.

The second method of disinfecting a cellar is lime

  1. We lower the barrel into the cellar and fill it with water.
  2. The calculation is as follows: for 10 sq.m of premises - 3 kg of quicklime.
  3. Leave the container with the solution for 3 days.

But, alas, the method requires a lot of time for ventilation so that the fumes cannot settle on the crops that we grew for winter reserves.

Preparing the cellar for winter to ensure the safety of vegetables, and especially potatoes, requires a lot of time and labor, but health is more valuable. We need to try.

The room in which vegetables, fruits, and canned goods will be stored must be kept in such proper form. Now you know how to clean the cellar and properly prepare your cellars so that the harvest is preserved to its full potential. It was fresh, healthy, clean and flavorful.

How to store pumpkin for the winter in the cellar?

  • Storing pumpkins in the cellar
      Many people believe that pumpkin does not require any special storage conditions, so they simply lay it out on the floor of the cellar. But this vegetable, like zucchini, requires a more tender attitude. If you leave it lying on the floor, then literally in a month you will be able to see that it has begun to deteriorate.
    • If you want to prepare healthy pumpkin dishes almost until next summer, then make sure that it has its own separate place in the cellar. The best option for storing pumpkins would be a wooden rack more than a meter high, covered with paper.
    • The pumpkin must be placed in such a way that its stalks look up and its sides do not touch each other. If you know that the temperature in your cellar in winter can drop below zero, then additionally fill all the spaces between the pumpkins with straw or hay.

    How to deal with dampness

    If you see drops of water on the walls of the cellar, this means that there is a high level of humidity in the room. It may also be indicated by an unpleasant - musty, stale - smell. To prevent dampness from developing into a big problem, you need to start fighting it immediately, when the first signs appear.

    • Remove all trash left over from last year from the cellar.
    • Take all “mobile” elements of the cellar out into the fresh air: drawers, shelves, racks, baskets, etc. They will dry much faster there. Wooden objects should not be placed in direct sunlight because they may become deformed.
    • To disinfect, treat the surfaces of all shelves, drawers, etc. solutions of copper sulfate or formaldehyde.
    • Open all doors and hatches wide and ventilate the cellar until the smell of dampness disappears.
    • To further maintain a normal level of humidity in the room, place containers with coal and salt in different places in the cellar. These natural adsorbents will absorb excess moisture and thereby make the air drier. Remember to change them regularly after they have been saturated with liquid.
    • Whitewashing them with lime will also help make the walls drier.

    How to store beets in the cellar for the winter?

  • Storage conditions for beets for the winter
    Sekla categorically does not tolerate heat, so it must be stored at a temperature of no more than +2. If the temperature in the cellar rises above +5, the vegetable will begin to rapidly lose moisture and rot. In view of this, it is best to store beets and carrots in a protective shell.

    Storage methods:

    • Leaves of rowan, fern and wormwood. Place the beets in a wooden box and arrange them with the prepared leaves. With this storage method, your root vegetables will be protected not only from temperature fluctuations, but also from microflora that causes vegetables to rot. The leaves of these plants will secrete phytoncides all winter, which will kill pathogenic microorganisms.
      Salt. This product creates a protective shell that fights not only temperature, but also moisture. If you don't want to bother, then just sprinkle the beets with salt. But if you want it to last until the next harvest, then prepare a concentrated salt solution, dip the beets in it, wait until they are completely dry, and only then put them in a box.
  • How to eliminate mold in the cellar

    If the cellar is constantly damp and there is no or poor ventilation, mold and other fungi may appear there. If you find traces of them, immediately begin disinfection - the destruction of all infectious agents.

    What and how can you treat the cellar before storing vegetables for the winter?

    • First, take a brush and remove the mold from everywhere.
    • Then treat all cleaned surfaces. There are several options. For example, an effective means of disinfecting walls and ceilings is a solution of copper sulfate and lime. If your walls are brick, then use a 5% solution of copper sulfate. It is better to disinfect wooden floors with a more concentrated one – 10%. The solution can be applied with a roller or brush. In places where these tools cannot be reached, use a spray bottle. After completing the work, the cellar must be ventilated.
    • A strong solution of potassium permanganate - potassium permanganate - is very good for fighting fungus. Apply it to walls, shelving, etc., and then dry everything well. Diluted potassium permanganate should be used immediately after preparation, because it decomposes very quickly and ceases to be effective.
    • To combat mold and fungi in the cellar, many people use quicklime. Take a few kilograms of this substance, pour it into a bucket and place it in the middle of the cellar. Close all vents and hatches. Pour water into a bucket and quickly leave the room, tightly closing the doors behind you. After 3 days, come back and air everything out. You can store vegetables in the cellar after this treatment no earlier than a month later. For this reason, this disinfection measure must be applied in advance.
    • Sulfur bombs, such as Vist, are considered one of the most effective ways to combat mold. When using them you need to be very careful and act strictly according to the instructions. Work should be carried out with protective gloves and a respirator to avoid contact with toxic substances.

    Burt: how to make and how to store crops in it

    Such, in fact, shaft-shaped piles of vegetables are above-ground (on the surface of the soil), semi-buried (going 30 cm down) and buried (up to 1 m). Recessed and semi-recessed ones are more suitable for storing potatoes and root vegetables - they protect more reliably from frost. Typically, piles with potatoes and beets are 2 m wide, carrots and turnips - 1 m, and with cabbage and rutabaga - up to 1.5 m. The length of the pile is no more than 10 m, and for carrots - 5 m.

    Ventilation must be provided at the base of the collar (it should not be closed until low positive temperatures occur - 2 degrees). One or two grooves are dug along the entire length, the ends of which extend beyond the boundaries of the pile by about 1 m. Branches are laid for drainage, vegetables are placed on them, and at the end everything is covered with straw and earth.

    For many years now I have been using piles to store potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips and white cabbage. Or simply put, earthen pits. Although I also have a cellar, I only keep part of the harvest in it, which I use during the winter. I store the other part in piles and take it out closer to spring. Vegetables remain fresh in them, do not wilt, rot or sprout. It is not difficult to build a pile.

    There is no need to buy materials for it. There is also no need to ventilate and sort through vegetables, as in a cellar. The place for the collar should be chosen dry and preferably on a slope. Before laying vegetables at the bottom of the hole, you need to lay a 15-20 cm thick layer of branches, sunflower stalks, corn, or put wooden shields.

    If the collar is large, then 2 ventilation pipes should be installed in the hole along its edges, rising above the shelter. To ventilate a small pile, it is enough to dig bundles of brushwood wrapped in paper along the edges. You need to put cans on top of them, otherwise the water will flow down the branches into the hole. Place shields of boards or plant stems on top of the vegetables poured into the pile.

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    How to store celery in the cellar for the winter?

  • Methods for storing celery
    Celery, like any hard vegetable, loves moisture very much, so it must be stored at almost 100% humidity. If in your cellar its indicators are lower than necessary, then you can try to periodically moisten the vegetable itself. Of course, this doesn't mean you have to spray the celery itself. In order for it to have enough moisture, you will just need to occasionally sprinkle sand in the box in which it will be located.

    Just don’t do this very often; if you overdo it with water, the root crop will first begin to take root and grow, and then due to lack of light it will rot. If your cellar has an earthen floor, you can make a small trench in it, put celery in it and cover everything on top with soil and straw.

  • How to store pears in the cellar for the winter?

  • Storing pears at home
      Many gardeners, when putting a pear in the basement for storage, make one mistake. They simply put it in a box, put it on a shelf and forget about it for a certain time. As a rule, such fruits begin to become covered with rot very quickly. Why is this happening?
    • Firstly, under no circumstances should you fill the pears. If you do this quickly, then some fruit will probably be damaged, and without noticing this, cover it with normal pears. After some time, it will begin to deteriorate and infect fruits that come into contact with it. Therefore, it will be better if you put the fruits in the box carefully, literally one piece at a time.
    • Secondly, pears really do not like high humidity, therefore, everything must be done to ensure that it has the most minimal effect on them. To do this, you need to cover the bottom of the box with several layers of newspaper and only then start laying rows of pears in it. And don’t forget that there cannot be more than three rows of fruit in the box and that each of them must be covered with 2-3 layers of paper.

    How to store onions for the winter in the cellar?

  • Storing onions in winter
    We can honestly say that onions are the most demanding vegetables. At room temperature it begins to germinate quickly, but at very low temperatures it freezes and becomes inedible.

    In view of this, if you decide to store this vegetable in the cellar, then make sure that the temperature in it does not fall below -1, and the humidity is at least 75%. If these indicators are less, the onion will deteriorate very quickly.

    You can store onions in:

    • Wooden boxes. Their height should not exceed 30 centimeters. If it is larger, the bulbs will rot and rot.
      Containers for eggs. This method is suitable for gardeners with a large cellar. In this case, the onions will need to be carefully placed in the egg wells, and then the containers will need to be placed on shelves.
    • Grids. The best option is nets that can literally hold 3 kilograms of onions. But they also cannot be placed on the floor. If you don't have any space left on the shelves, then make additional stands and place nets with vegetables on them.
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