I've read that beets should be stored in sand, sawdust or peat moss for long term storage. Any other mediums that people have tried? Newspaper or something? I would prefer not to buy sand or peat moss, and don't have sawdust available. Also, how about carrots?
Old-timers give me mixed reviews about sand and other media for beet and carrot storage. Some years it works, others it fails .-- for the same person.
Because our growing season is short and winters long, we have settled on putting well-washed produce in bags in a second refrigerator, with paper towel changed regularly to control excess moisture. This stores carrots and beets for up to 10 months. I threw our last bag of 2019 carrots in the compost two weeks ago.
Yes, this uses additional electricity. But our hard-earned produce is too valuable to mess around with, and we would otherwise end up relying on tasteless factory farm stuff shipped from thousands of miles away. No thanks.
I tried damp straw, they shriveled within weeks. damp sand works for me.
The point of the sand/peat etc is to reduce the loss of water so whatever you are storing them in needs to be pretty damp. Newspaper would turn to pulp and go mouldy in those conditions. Keeping in plastic bags in a fridge has the same effect it stops the roots drying out.
If you have mild winters and no slug or rodent issues you can leave them in the ground. I do not do this as I would have nothing left to eat, the voles love eating root crops and will happily hollow out every single parsnip/beetroot before I get to it!
If you use sand, make sure it's damp and not wet. Add water to the sand slowly, you can always add more. I tried storing my carrots in damp sand this year and within a few weeks they have begun sprouting. I've heard this can be because of excess moisture, so be aware of that. Otherwise, I've also had good success using clean plastic bags in a fridge. I've even kept them at room temperature for a few weeks to months like this and the only issue I have is some odd sprouting and occasional mold on green bits.
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