Storing carrots in the garden, in the refrigerator, in a root cellar. Build your own root cellar for storing carrots.
Storing carrots is little more complicated than most gardeners would anticipate. Many experienced gardeners have attempted to store root crops such as carrots with dismal results. If not done properly, even the best carrot crop can rot in just a few weeks. One bad carrot can ruin the entire lot.
Only The Best
It’s natural to think that large, imperfect or old carrots are suitable for storage, leaving the best carrots for eating and freezing. This is wrong thinking however; it’s better to store the best carrots and use damaged or imperfect carrots for eating and preserving.
Storing Carrots In The Garden
Unless your garden is way up north where you get two or more months of subzero temperatures, the garden may be the easiest and best place for storing carrots. Given the right winter temperature, carrots can be left right in the garden throughout the winter months. Storing carrots in the garden won’t work if winter temperatures are just above freezing because carrots will continue to grow becoming oversized, hard and woody. If you are lucky enough to store your carrots in the garden, all you need is a 4-inch bed of mulch to cover them with. This will create a dark space with no sunlight so they will stop growing and insulate your carrots against a few nights of extreme temperatures. The mulch will also stop the ground from freezing so you can dig up your carrots over the winter.
Storing Carrots In A Root Cellar
Storing carrots in a root cellar was the only way to store carrots before refrigerators. There was a time not long ago when every farm had a root cellar. In fact, it was the root cellar that was built before the house and bard. People had to eat and survive the winter. Back in the day, carrots where packed in layers of earth in shelves constructed within the root cellar.
Build Your Own Root Cellar For Storing Carrots
Building your own root cellar for storing carrots is not as hard as you may think and you don’t need much room either. Dig a hole about 2 feet deep and 6 feet square. Level the bottom of the hole and cover with black plastic 8mm poly. Use interlocking landscape block to construct 4 walls around the perimeter of the hole until the walls are 6 inches above the surface of the surround ground. Place a pallet inside the walled cavity on top of the plastic and cover with a door or window screen material and cover with soil to a depth of 4 inches. Place your carrots, one beside another and cover again with 2 inches of soil. Build a wood frame roof cover and sheet with plywood and place the cover on top of the structure. Create a vent at the top center of the roof (you can use a whirlybird roof vent for this). The final step is to waterproof the roof using roofing shingles, roofing vinyl or a flat roofing tar compound.