Terms of harvesting carrots for storage

Terms of harvesting carrots for storage

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The question of when to remove carrots from the garden is one of the most controversial: some gardeners recommend doing this as early as possible, as soon as the root crops are ripe and gain weight, while others, on the contrary, believe that harvesting carrots should be late, this is the only way the vegetable is fed all useful microelements.

Who is right, in what time frame should the carrot be harvested, as well as how to lay the root crop for storage - this will be an article about this.

When to dig up carrots

Usually gardeners harvest carrots, focusing on the appearance of the root crops and their size. In principle, this is the right approach, because the poured carrots of deep orange color and large size are certainly ripe and ready to dig up.

But, on the other hand, there are situations when an external assessment may turn out to be unreliable. It is necessary to calculate the time when to dig carrots taking into account several factors, such as:

  1. Root variety.
  2. Ripening rate.
  3. The purpose of the vegetable (for fresh consumption, for processing, for winter storage or for sale).
  4. Condition of the aboveground and underground parts of the plant.
  5. Weather conditions in a specific area.

Important! Harvesting carrots at the right time will ensure that the root vegetable is tasty, nutritious and shelf stable.

Collection of different varieties of carrots

The timing of picking carrots largely depends on the variety of this root crop. This is not surprising, because outwardly ripe carrots of different varieties can look completely different.

Today, there are hundreds of types of carrot seeds on the market, and each fruit is different from each other. Therefore, before digging a carrot, you need to look at the seed bag to understand what a mature root vegetable should look like. It would also be nice to taste the vegetable, because ripe carrots have a special pronounced taste, crispy flesh and a pleasant vegetable aroma.

Attention! The so-called bunch varieties of carrots are usually harvested when the diameter of the root crops reaches 1 cm.As a rule, the tops of such a vegetable are not cut off, or they are not cut off completely, leaving 2-3 cm of greens.

Regardless of the variety, carrots should be removed no earlier than the lower leaves begin to turn yellow.

Harvesting early ripening carrots

As you know, early ripe carrot varieties are grown not for storage, but for sale as the first young vegetables, for making salads, vitamin cocktails and juices.

Early ripe carrots are very juicy and tasty, but they are poorly stored, therefore, most often, such roots are pulled out gradually - as needed. You need to pull out the carrots so as to simultaneously thin out the rows, thereby providing nutrition to neighboring root crops.

It is not necessary to leave holes in the soil from the torn carrots, these holes must be sprinkled with earth and tamped, otherwise infections and a carrot fly will penetrate through them to the root crops.

Advice! Early varieties, as well as winter carrots, should be completely harvested by mid-summer.

Mid-season varieties of orange root crops are also not suitable for long-term storage, but such a carrot already tolerates transportation well and may well retain its presentation for several weeks, or even months.

Its appearance will tell you when to remove the medium carrot: the lower leaves of the tops will begin to dry, the roots themselves will reach the length and diameter that are optimal for the variety, the color of the vegetable will become rich, and the taste will be pleasant.

You should not rush to harvest mid-ripening carrots, because then the vegetable will not gain enough mass and will not accumulate the required amount of nutrients and very useful carotene. But it is also dangerous to overexpose such a carrot, because in moist soil, root crops can rot, and excessive drought will quickly dry out the tops and root crops - the vegetable will become lethargic and tasteless.

With late-ripening varieties, everything is somewhat simpler, as folk wisdom suggests, the harvesting of winter varieties of carrots should be completed by September 24 - Cornelius Day. After this date, real cold weather begins practically throughout Russia, the night temperature can drop below zero, which is very dangerous for any root crops.

Although carrots are considered a cold-resistant crop, their fruits do not need to be kept in the ground when the temperature drops to -3 degrees, this leads to rotting of root crops and their infection with various infections - the immunity of frozen carrots is significantly reduced.

Harvesting carrots too early is also fraught with problems. This vegetable does not like sudden changes in temperature, therefore, if you pull out the root crop from the still warm soil and place the crop in a cold cellar, nothing good will come of it - at best, the carrots will become lethargic, and at worst, it will become infected with gray rot.

Advice! It is imperative to take into account the ripening time indicated on the bag with carrot seeds.

Usually mid-season varieties ripen in 80-100 days, a late carrot will need 110-120 days for full maturity - from these figures you need to build on in determining the date of harvest.

The following signs will tell you that the carrots "sat up" in the garden:

  • the appearance on root crops of small roots covering the vegetable along its entire length;
  • complete drying of the tops;
  • cracking carrots;
  • lethargy of fruits;
  • color fading;
  • rotting or damage by pests, rodents.

And the most important thing is that overexposed carrots will become tasteless, they may taste bitter or lose their peculiar aroma.

Such a crop cannot be stored for a long time - the damaged roots will not last until spring.

When and how to harvest carrots for winter storage

It is very difficult to grow any vegetable crop, but it is even more difficult to preserve root crops until next spring, providing seven vitamins and useful microelements.

As stated above, the most important thing is to determine the right time to harvest. It is important to understand that only a well-ripened carrot is fully saturated with vitamins, receives a large dose of carotene, and can be stored for a long time.

Attention! It is noted that a large increase in the mass of root crops is observed in the days of autumn cooling. When the air temperature drops to 7-8 degrees, the carrot gains about 45% of its weight, moreover, it is during this period that the root crop accumulates carotene.

Based on the foregoing, it can be unequivocally stated - autumn cool days are simply necessary for the carrot harvest, it should not be harvested earlier than the second half of September.

The only exceptions are cases of weather anomalies: a sharp drop in temperature, frost, heavy and prolonged rains. In such cases, the gardener tries to save at least part of his harvest, there is no time to think about the vitamin composition of carrots.

For carrots to be well stored, they need to be harvested correctly. There are several guidelines for this:

  1. If the length of the root vegetables is small, it is better to pull the carrots with your hands. In this case, the root crop is held near the base and pulled by the lower part of the tops. A ripe, resilient vegetable should come out of the ground easily. Difficulties can arise when the soil on the site is too dry and cracked.
  2. In such cases, as well as when the roots are long and large, it is better to use a pitchfork or a shovel. You need to work with the tool carefully: stepping back a few centimeters from the row, they just dig in the ground. Fragile carrots crack easily and can be cut with a sharp shovel; this should not be allowed.
  3. Do not leave dug carrots uncut. The opinion that root crops should be left with uncut tops for several days, and left directly in the beds, is fundamentally wrong. This cannot be done for one reason - the tops will lose nutrition and begin to draw moisture from the root crops, thereby drying out the carrots and making them tasteless. Subsequently, the crop will begin to rot, it will be very poorly stored.
  4. It is better to remove the tops immediately after digging up the carrots and this should be done not with your hands, but with a sharp knife or scissors - so the cut will be neat, the risk of infection in the "wound" is minimal.
  5. Do not leave the "tails" - the tops of the carrots must be cut "at the root", that is, capturing 1-2 mm of the root crop itself. This is the only way to cut off the dormant buds, and the carrots will not be able to start up young shoots as soon as they smell spring.

Correctly removing carrots is half the battle; it needs to be prepared for storage. The collected carrots are thoroughly cleaned of adhering soil and laid out in one layer under a canopy. The place should be cool, dark and well ventilated. So, the roots are dried for several days.

Attention! Chopped or broken carrots cannot be stored; such root vegetables are best eaten or processed immediately.

The fact is that the "wounds" of carrots are very poorly healed, an infection gets into them, and the vegetable rots, infecting neighboring fruits.

Now you need to sort the carrots, remove damaged, sluggish fruits. The harvest is laid out in boxes and left in a cold room for a couple of days. This is necessary so that the vegetable "gets used" to the basement cold - the carrots will evaporate excess moisture, will not "sweat" after being placed in the cellar.

In the basement, boxes or boxes with root crops are not placed directly on the floor; it is necessary to build a platform or put several bricks and bars under the container.

Important! You can harvest root crops only in dry weather, otherwise the carrots will rot.


Drawing conclusions, we can once again note the importance of determining the correct date for harvesting carrots. It is completely unacceptable to harvest this root crop at random when you want, because then the carrot will lose not only in mass and nutritional value, the root crops will be poorly stored, they will begin to wither and rot.

When to pick carrots, each gardener must decide for himself. At the same time, it is important to take into account all the accompanying factors, such as the weather, variety, ripening time and the appearance of the fruit.

Watch the video: Harvested Carrots For JuicingPart 2