Storing Your Harvested Vegetables

Although you may use much of your harvested fruits and vegetables over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, us avid growers are bound to have leftovers. It is therefore important to consider the different storage needs of your fruits and vegetables. 

To successfully store your harvest you must consider the different temperature and humidity requirements of each fruit and vegetable. Luckily for us, there are only four basic temperature and humidity groups to consider. 

Group 1: Cold and Moist

Pack your beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, and rutabagas in a cold area such as an unfinished basement or garage at a temperature between 0 and 4 °C. To ensure that your vegetables stay moist, wrap them in sand, newspaper or peat moss and continually spray with water. 

Group 2: Cold and Dry 

Consider storing apples, pears, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and potatoes in the same location as Group 1 but package them in such a way that ensures more air circulation and therefore drier conditions. Your potatoes need to be stored in complete darkness, while your apples and pears need to be wrapped individually in dry newspaper. 

Group 3: Cool and Dry 

Your onions, garlic, and shallots will keep best in a dry, unheated spare room or closet with a temperature ranging from 0 to 10 °C. You should dry and cure these products for two to four weeks before storing them in braided mesh bags or alternatively in shallow boxes and baskets that are no more than two layers deep.

Group 4: Slightly Warmer and Dry

Surprisingly, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and winter squash need slightly warmer conditions, around 10 to 15 °C, in order to keep their texture. Make sure you don’t stack too many of these products on top of each other as doing so will lead to poor circulation and a shorter shelf life. Your sweet potatoes will also need to be cured at a high temperature (between 26°–32°C) for 5 to 10 days before storing and must be stored at a temperature of 10°C.

Check out this simple storing chart along with harvesting tips to get the most out of your harvested fruits and vegetables this winter! 

Vegetable

Shelf Life

How to Store

Harvest tips

Apples

1-2 Months

Cold and moist

Beet

5 Months Cold and moist

Store without tops

Carrot

8 Months Cold and moist

Store without tops

Cabbage

5 Months

Cold and moist

Kohlrabi

2 Months Cold and moist

Store without tops

Onion

4 Months Cool and dry

Cure before storage 2-4 week

Parsnip

4 Months Cold and moist

Harvest after frost

Potato

6 Months Dark cool and moist

Harvest after vines die back

Radish

1 Month

Cold and moist

Rutabaga

4 Months

Cold and moist

Winter Squash

4-6 Months Cold and moist Harvest when the shells are hard and before a frost

Turnip

4 Months

Cold and moist