How to keep harvested fruits fresh in winter?

Storage of vegetables, root-crops, fruits, and vegetables in winter

Every dacha owner knows that it is important not only to grow vegetables and fruits on the plot, but also to ensure their preservation in the autumn and winter period. In addition, everyone wants to eat fruits, roots and tubers that retain their maximum nutritional value and good appearance. Especially worrying is the problem of storing vegetables, root crops and fruits of those that turned out to be very abundant, which do not want to turn into canning (for this there are home plants for the winter) or freeze. To help home and garden lovers a lot of tips that everyone can apply.

Storing vegetables in winter - tomatoes

Depending on the type and variety of crops, the terms and conditions of their storage are somewhat different. Thus, vegetables, root crops and fruits of early maturity can be stored only in the spring. Therefore, for the winter leave the medium or late varieties, characterized by the ability to retain nutritional value and original form for several months. Some secrets allow you to get the harvest on their own, going into the summer (carrots, beets, cabbage, onions).

Storage life depends largely on the quality of harvesting, the ripeness of root crops, vegetables and fruits, the conditions under which they are kept. We use only early varieties in processed form. We dry, freeze and can them. Although it cannot be said that no crops can be subjected to these types of processing.

A brief summary of the article

General rules for winter storage of vegetables, root crops and fruits

We select vegetables, root crops and fruits according to the same principle. They must be:

  • Absolutely healthy
  • Without visible damage,
  • Free from soil and other contaminants
  • Soundly dried
  • Harvested at a stage of normal maturity.

It is best to store vegetables, root crops and fruits in dry cellars or bodegas, but in their absence, a normal pantry will do. The main thing is that the room for storing crops should be cool and dry enough.

How to save on vegetables in winter


Before storing for the winter, dry the onions well. Drying time depends on the air temperature, size and humidity of the vegetable itself. Small onions dry at least 7 days, and large – up to 20 days. Peel them from the covering scales and dry some of the leaves. To save the onions for another harvest, put them in boxes on a bedding, which can be a thick, non-fibrous material or an old blanket. A very well-proven version of vertical storage of this crop. In this case, we put the vegetables in nets or baskets and hang them on the walls or ceiling. Our mothers used as containers old nylon pantyhose, in which onions long retained their useful properties.

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Winter vegetable storage - onions.


Garlic is a capricious crop, with the preservation of which there are often problems. If not handled properly, this vegetable can rot, wither or sprout. Before storing it is well dried and cleaned of dry soil. For the winter, garlic is best hung upright in woven “braids.” The heads should be on the outside of the braid. We put these vegetables in sugar bags (made of propylene fabric). The main thing is that they break from the heat.

A promising method of storing peeled teeth in vegetable oil. We put the slices in glasses, pour in oil and cover with lids. We leave such intervals in a dark place. Use the garlic as needed. The remaining oil is suitable for vegetable and meat dishes. To prevent the garlic heads from drying out during storage, dip them in melted paraffin (without dyes or flavorings). To do this, cleaned stems and roots of the heads quickly dipped in a container of paraffin. This treatment prevents not only drying out, but also premature sprouting of garlic.


Cabbage, if stored improperly, can completely rot. That’s why it’s so important to keep a moist temperature regime and correctly prepare the heads for winter. Cabbage, having cut off the core and cut off the outer leaves, put in wooden crates or containers in which we pour straw heads. Heads of vegetables stacked without contact. If the cabbage heads are few, we hang them by the stumps in the basement (basement) under the ceiling, having previously poked out of the open leaves.

We spread the cabbage on the floor, and under it we put the unraised material. We show the heads with ground chalk, lay them out and reinforce them with a cloth. Instead of cloth, we also use paper, which is replaced by a new one as moisture arrives. Storage conditions for vegetables: temperature of t-1 to +1 degree, humidity 90-98%. In winter, inspect the heads more often and remove lazy or withered leaves.

Winter vegetable storage - cabbage

Zucchini and pumpkin.

Unlike other plants, these vegetables prefer a warmer environment. Usually they are stored in ordinary homemade storage chambers. The best temperature for you is 5-12 degrees. Pumpkin can be perfectly preserved until spring, but zucchini is better to store about 30 days, as they quickly lose their nutritional value.


This crop we store for some time and without processing. This is possible if you collect all the fruits (green, milky, brown, ripe) before frost. After sorting the vegetables for ripening, we put tomatoes of different colors in boxes, so that the ethylene released during ripening does not accelerate the ripening of green fruits. Keep tomatoes in the dark and maintain appropriate temperatures: for ripe tomatoes 1-2 degrees, green and milk tomatoes – 10-12 degrees, brown – 4-6 degrees. Tomatoes wrapped in paper (each separately) are stored longer. Vegetables stacked in crates in a layer and interspersed with straw or sawdust. Fruits are stacked on top.

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In the fall, undamaged, mature eggplants are stored on straw, stems down. Then cover the vegetables with linen sacking and keep for 2 weeks. Then the eggplants are sorted and sorted healthy and fully in the paper. Prepared vegetables are placed on straw, up to 20 cm thick and covered with a thick layer of linen sacking.

A small amount of eggplants can be preserved by going in for the winter, sprinkling them with wood ash or wrapped in newspaper. This vegetable does not lose its qualities for about 2 months. Preservation of eggplants depends on the variety, the degree of maturity and the conditions of maintenance. The optimal temperature is 6-7 degrees, and the humidity is 85-90%.

How to preserve the harvest of root crops in winter

The preservation of root vegetables (beets, parsnips, parsnips, brats, volunteer) depends on their integrity. Before stacking, clean them from the soil, dry them well, cut off the tops and do not allow the vegetables to sprout. Leave the roots intact. Store the above plants in wooden crates and containers. To do this, we stack the root crops in rows and intersperse the vegetables with dry sawdust, peat, sand, onions, grass. For the prevention of certain diseases (carrots and beets about these problems) in the sand and peat podmeshivayut ground chalk (1:10).


It is perfectly preserved in the sound. For this purpose, carrots are dipped in a device made of clay and dried in the sun. Among gardeners is popular method of preserving carrots in wet sand. We lay out the vegetables in the subject boxes up to 1 m high. We lay out the vegetables with the heads outward. All the rows of root crops we pour over wet sand, forming a layer of 1 cm. When drying, object holders are sprayed with water.

There is a good option when using a wet mixture of sawdust and shavings in boxes with small holes (so as not to fall asleep) or cardboard boxes. In this case, the carrots and the mixture are stacked in layers and complete the whole process with a stalk. A mandatory action in this process is to trim the ends of the carrots on both sides (see photo)! If there is a high humidity in the basement, you can use a dry mixture, but in this case the size of carrots for the winter will be slightly reduced by reducing the humidity. However, on large vegetables, this is completely unnoticeable.

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Pre-winter treatment of root crops in a chalk solution also gives a good result. After the procedure, we dry them and form them into small piles.

Root vegetables winter storage - carrots


It is worth talking about it in more detail. There are many ways to preserve this culture for many years. In some villages, potatoes are still stored in trenches, covering the tubers with a large layer of straw and lawn. This root crop should dry well in the air in the shade at a temperature of 14 to 18 degrees. We put the tubers in wooden crates and containers with arches in the walls and put them on pallets that separate the vegetables from the floor by 20-25 cm. The thickness of the layer of tubers in the container should not be more than 1 m. On top of the potatoes we lay various root vegetables (beets are suitable), which normalize the humidity. Tubers do not crumple, and root vegetables reduce moisture and stay fresh for a long time.

If you do not have a lot of potatoes, you can store them on a non-weighted material, on which we lay the tubers as evenly as possible. Cover them with burlap. In the old days, potatoes for the winter were sprinkled with dried red mint, wormwood, thyme, birch leaves, elderberry, mountain ash. These plants, which release phytoncides and clean the atmosphere of bacteria, contribute to the preservation of vegetables.

We store potatoes by individual plants, interspersing them with ground chalk or wood ash and maintaining an optimum temperature of 2 to 4 degrees. The stored tubers are regularly sorted by removing diseased specimens and the sprouts are broken off. If the temperature drops severely, so that the root crops do not freeze, cover them with straw, blankets or old clothes. If humidity increases, we pour lime flour on the floor, it perfectly absorbs excess moisture.

Root crops storage in winter - potatoes

During the cold fall and winter, fresh horseradish is needed. For preservation, choose undamaged roots, from which we cut off the tips. Cover the horseradish in moist sand in crates. The optimal temperature is 4-5 degrees.


It is possible to keep radishes (how to grow them) from autumn varieties fresh for some time, preventing them from wilting. To do this, cut off the tips at 2.5-3 cm from the root crop. Roots leave untouched. Place radishes in plastic bags. This keeps the vegetables fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks. Varieties of radishes such as “Red Giant” and “Dungan” are stored until December. To do this, we harvest the harvested crop before frost arrives. Cut off the tops and roots of the root crops, put the vegetables in rows in boxes and pour wet sand over them. Periodically moisten it by spraying water, maintaining a temperature of 1-2 degrees.

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Proper winter storage of fruit

For storage are suitable undamaged fruit. Apples and pears stack in wooden crates. Overflow the fruit dry sawdust, shavings, hay. A very good result can be achieved by storing the fruit in a special paper treated with oil. In this way you can prevent mass rotting. A good result is also achieved by treating with glycerin. To do this, wipe each fruit with a cloth soaked in this substance. It is recommended to keep the fruit away from strongly smelling vegetables. The optimum temperature is 0-5 degrees and the humidity is 85-90%.

Grapes .

Some of its varieties (with dense flesh and thick skin) can be stored in a dry and cool place. For this we select the best grapes. On top of dry sawdust we put paper. On top we lay out the grape brushes in a single layer. We cover the fruit with a cotton towel. Inspect the grapes regularly and remove rotten berries.

Watermelons and melons

We store watermelons and melons indoors by laying them out in a row on a wire tray. All tails should point upward. We move these fruits with dry sawdust so they don’t come into contact with each other. Optimal temperature: 3-5 degrees. Unripe melons, which in this time reach the necessary ripeness, are suitable for storage.

What about the greens?

Not too long, but quite a long time you can keep fresh not only vegetables, fruits and root vegetables, but also greens. To do this, we separately wrap green onions, parsley, dill and lettuce in thin food-grade polyethylene and send them to the refrigerator. All the greens are thoroughly dried from moisture beforehand. Fresh herbs can be stored in a cool place by dipping the cut ends of the stems in a container of water. This way they won’t spoil for several days. We change the water every day.

Other vegetables, such as cucumbers (here are the best varieties for growing in the country house), can be stored for the winter in the form of pickles and marinades. Sauerkraut (here’s a recipe with spices) and apples also keep for a long time. It is best to store these plants in wooden tubs.

This allows you to keep berries, fruits and vegetables fresh for as long as possible.

Lifehacker tells you where and how to store berries, fruits, and vegetables in the refrigerator, on the kitchen counter, or in any cool, dry place.

Photo by Irina Baranskaya

What’s important to note

Let’s start with a little chemistry lesson. Ethylene is an odorless, colorless gas that helps some fruits ripen. Some fruits have a lot of it (like apples and pears), while others have very little.

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Fruits with lots of ethylene:

  • apples,
  • apricots,
  • avocados,
  • bananas,
  • melons,
  • Cowardly,
  • Nectarines,
  • peaches,
  • pears,
  • plums,
  • Tomatoes.

They should not be stored with other fruits and vegetables. Unless you want them to ripen faster.

For example, if you put a banana in a paper bag, it will ripen faster because the ethylene is in the paper trap. Or you can put an apple or a pear together with the banana.

It’s also worth considering the fact that ethylene comes out of a damaged fruit faster. As a result, a cracked apple can get all wrapped up faster than a normal fruit.

What to save and where to save it

Going to the market or to the store, you need to put what you buy in the right place. Otherwise, all the effort and money will be wasted.

Store them in the refrigerator:

  • artichokes
  • turnips
  • cauliflower
  • melon
  • celery
  • cherry
  • Grapes .
  • Green beans
  • Limb
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Leeks
  • okra
  • spinach
  • snowy sections
  • zucchini

You have three options for storing in the refrigerator: store without packaging, in a plastic bag, or in a paper bag. The plastic bag traps moisture inside, so it’s best not to tighten it or make multiple holes.

It is advisable not to wash fruits and vegetables before sending them to the refrigerator. If you wash them, dry them well, otherwise mold can appear, and this is not good for other foods and health.

After ripening, preserve them:

Preserve in water:

Store as if you were storing flowers: cut off the ends and put them in a glass with a little water.

Store in a paper bag:

Wash and store in a plastic bag:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • cranberries
  • chives
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Radishes

Do not wash and store by spreading in a single layer:

The berries listed should not be washed and large quantities in a tray. The berries are very delicate, and their skins are also soft. If you wash them, damaging it will cause the juice to flow out, and you’ll just get mad. If you store them in layers in small tablets, they keep much longer.

Store them on the kitchen table:

  • Apples
  • banana
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Ginger
  • grapefruit
  • lemon
  • lime
  • Orange
  • mango
  • papaya
  • pepper
  • persimmon
  • pineapple
  • banana
  • watermelon
  • Pomegranate

It is not recommended to put the listed vegetables and fruits in the sunlight or near the kitchen stove. From time to time you need to move them from place to place, so that the fruit is not on one side for a long time. This is especially true for tomatoes.

Store in a dark, cool place:

No wonder cellars are so popular in villages. After all, they are where not only salt and jam, but also potatoes, onions, pumpkins and garlic are stored all winter.

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