New harvest is coming: time to prepare the cellar
It is not enough to grow a rich harvest in your summer cottage or garden plot, it is very important to keep it as long as possible. Therefore, special importance is attached to the correct preparation of the cellar or basement before laying vegetables and fruits for the winter.
How to properly prepare a cellar for storing a harvest of vegetables and fruits
Preparatory activities must be completed about 3-4 weeks before the expected day of laying the first fruits and vegetables... But it also makes no sense to do this too early, because with sharp temperature jumps (when the storage is opened), condensation settles on the walls and ceiling of the cellar, and subsequently mold will develop there. Closer to autumn, it is already cool outside and the likelihood of this is minimal. The preparation process includes several sequential steps.
The cellar must be prepared for the new harvest, otherwise the vegetables and fruits in it will not be preserved for a long time.
The first step is to clean the room, remove the remaining last year's vegetables, fruits, preserves, etc. If there is an earthen floor in the cellar, you can remove the top layer (1–2 cm). All plant debris, which is a source of infection, is carefully collected and taken away (buried or burned). Shelves, racks, boxes, bins and other structures are carefully examined, checked for strength, integrity and, if necessary, repaired. Burrows left by rodents, as well as any cracks and holes, are clogged with stones, broken glass and sealed with cement mortar.
First, all the remaining vegetables of last year are taken out of the cellar.
Drying and airing
Open the door (in the basement) or the lid (in the cellar) and leave to dry for several days. All removable and portable structures must be taken out into the air. Wooden parts, since they are damp, are placed in the shade, but in a draft to avoid deformation. Mold, mildew and rust are cleaned off with a metal brush or scraper, and decayed boards are replaced. After drying, the wooden elements for disinfection are fired with a blowtorch or treated with special antiseptic compounds. The metal parts are covered with fresh paint. Stationary equipment that cannot be removed outside is disinfected on site.
The cellar must be well ventilated by opening the hatch for several days.
If the room is too damp, then you will have to dry it additionally. For safety reasons, it is not recommended to use electrical devices (fans, heaters, etc.) in high humidity conditions, as this can lead to a short circuit... It is much safer to use smoldering coals (in a bucket or basin) or place containers with adsorbing substances (charcoal, salt, etc.) in the corners of the cellar. A simple lime wash will help to lower the humidity.
The cellar can be dried due to the natural circulation of air masses, which is amplified with the help of heated air coming from a lit candle installed directly in the ventilation duct. In this case, the door and other outlet must be open.
You can dry the cellar with glowing coals in a bucket or tank.
The room must be disinfected; for this, the walls and ceiling are treated with disinfectants using a roller, sponge, brush or spray bottle. Can be used:
- Strong, dark red potassium permanganate solution.
- Acetic or boric acid (20 ml of the substance is dissolved in 1 liter).
- Lime mortar (2–2.5 kg of slaked lime per 10 liters of water) with the addition of copper (100 g) or iron (50 g) vitriol. The composition is used to whitewash brick and concrete surfaces.
- A solution of copper sulfate (10%), all surfaces, except for wooden ones, are washed with it.
Brick or concrete walls can be whitewashed
Disinfection can also be carried out with the help of gaseous substances, fumigating the room... To do this, the basement or cellar must be sealed by plugging all the cracks, closing the ventilation holes, hatches, vents and doors. You should work in special work clothes (as closed as possible), protective rubber gloves, plastic goggles, a respirator (or mask) and a headdress, where you carefully remove your hair. It is highly desirable to have a partner for safety net. At the end of work, wash face and hands with plenty of soap and water, wash clothes. Do not smoke, drink or eat any food during fumigation.
It must be remembered that fumigation with poisonous and harmful substances in storage facilities equipped under living quarters or in the immediate vicinity of them cannot be performed.
Fumigation is carried out:
- Sulfuric checker. The sulfur dioxide released during combustion kills pathogenic microflora, insect pests, and rodents. But sulfur compounds are not recommended for use in rooms where there are metal structures, as they corrode metal. To avoid corrosion, all metal parts are coated with some kind of viscous grease (grease, petroleum jelly, etc.) The number of checkers is calculated based on the internal volume of the basement (this is indicated in the instructions). They are placed on non-combustible supports evenly over the entire floor area, then the wicks are lit in turn, starting from the far edge of the room. It usually takes about two minutes to get out, this is how much the wick burns, and then the checker itself lights up and begins to smoke. At the end of the fumigation, the room is left closed for about 24–36 hours, then the basement or cellar is ventilated for a day or more until the specific smell of sulfurous anhydride completely disappears.
The sulfur checker is designed to combat rodents, fungal microorganisms and insects that can harm the harvested crop.
- With quicklime. Lime vapors, which are extinguished right in the cellar or basement, perfectly kill all insects that have settled in the room, as well as mold and fungi. The tank is placed on the floor, lime is poured into it at the rate of 10 m³ - 3 kg, filled with water and left the room as soon as possible. The basement or cellar is left closed for 2-3 days, then it is opened and thoroughly ventilated.
Slaking - the interaction of lime with water, during which there is a strong heating of the liquid and the release of vapors and carbon dioxide
If the floor is concreted, then it is treated together with the walls and ceiling; a thin layer of fluffy lime is poured onto the earthen base for disinfection.
It is unacceptable to carry out fumigation just before laying the crop. All preparatory activities must be completed at least a week before.
Our cellar is in the garage. In August, I open it, take out all the boxes (we have them plastic), wash them with running water and dry them. I walk on metal shelves with a wire brush, removing dirt and rust. Then I dilute a very dark solution of potassium permanganate in a bucket and use a wide brush to process the ceiling, beams, walls, and create all the internal structures. Since the cellar is dry enough, there is usually no need to take any additional actions; after all this, it is enough to keep it open for a couple of days.
Video: preparing a cellar for a new harvest
The safety of the harvested crop directly depends on the quality of work on the preparation of the winter storage. Timely and properly carried out sanitization will keep vegetables and fruits fresh until the new season.
How to build a cellar on the street
Everyone who has a vegetable garden or a garden on their land plot probably wondered about the need to build a cellar in the yard. After all, this structure has been serving people as a natural refrigerator for more than one millennium. Due to the fact that the temperature in the cellars in summer does not exceed 4 - 5 degrees, and in winter it does not drop below 2 degrees, it is difficult to imagine a place more suitable for storing the harvest of vegetables and fruits. It is not so difficult to make such a useful structure. How to build a cellar on the street on your own will be discussed in this article.
How to make a cellar and what is it
A cellar is a room designed for long-term storage of homemade vegetables for the winter and other food products. According to the storage of supplies, the cellars are divided into: wine, powder and agricultural. We are interested in the last option, and we will talk about it.
A classic cellar is located separately from a residential building and can be underground, partially buried and superficial. What it will be with you is up to you and the geographical conditions in which you live. We will talk about an underground cellar. Everything that is located under a residential building refers to either basements or underground. We'll talk about this in more detail below.
Buildings can be located above the cellar: a barn, a workshop. In ancient times, a wooden building above the cellar was called a cellar. Here were kept: agricultural tools, buckets, baskets, there was a place where potatoes were dried before going into the cellar or onions, garlic. You can still find cellars in the villages.
Using the greenhouse during cold weather
Many gardeners do not want to give up fresh vegetables on the table and therefore use their greenhouses in winter. Farming in the winter comes with running costs, but in the end you only have to go to a nearby store once to see the difference in vegetable prices outside of the season. Of course, the most important issue in preparing a greenhouse for winter in this case is heating, which can be done in different ways, it all depends on the location and the availability of technical solutions.
When heating a greenhouse in winter, there is a problem with the supply of hot water, but electrical heating can be provided. It is advisable to calculate the economic component in order to see if this or that type of heating is suitable for each specific case.
A small heating can be used in the greenhouse. Many vegetables can withstand low temperatures and even short-term freezing. Among them:
- Brussels sprouts
These vegetables can be harvested until January. Snow cover should be regularly removed from the roof to provide sufficient light.
It takes a little time and money to get a greenhouse ready for winter. Keeping warm will help preserve perennials and save on heating bills. Insulate the north side and any other solid walls with rock wool or some other heat insulator. If possible, cover all unused ventilation openings, both internally and externally.
Some types of vegetables can be sown before winterso that they will lie peacefully for several months in the ground, and spring shoots will appear several weeks faster than those sown in spring. For winter sowing, frost-resistant varieties of onions, carrots and parsley, garlic and fennel are suitable. The seeds should be sown slightly denser than in the case of spring sowing. The ground can be lightly covered with thin agrotextiles, which will accelerate the germination of plants, protecting them from frost.
What does a plastic cellar look like and what are its features
A plastic cellar is a sealed container of various large volumes, made of modern materials and, due to its ability to maintain the desired temperature, intended for storing fresh vegetables, fruits, wine and canned food.
Manufacturers have provided for a lot of forms of plastic cellars to choose from, as well as their initial equipment with steps, sometimes with a wooden floor and shelves, but in all cases - with ventilation and a hatch cover. These vaults have one thing in common due to the name: they are made of durable plastic.
The advantages of a plastic cellar are that it is relatively lightweight, which simplifies its installation. Does not corrode, i.e. will serve for many years. It does not depend on the groundwater level, which means that it can be installed almost anywhere on the site. Its walls are reliably protected from the effects of any odors, humidity and temperature extremes. And modern technologies of such products make it possible to protect the crop from rodents as well.
The only caveat is associated exclusively with the installation of the cellar and lies in its reliable anchoring, but more on that later.
How to store potatoes correctly
During storage until spring, potatoes enter a dormant period. So that it does not deteriorate at this time, they provide the necessary mode.
The room must be dark, otherwise solanine forms in the tubers, making them unsuitable for eating. It is not difficult to remove lighting in cellars and basements. When creating storage on the balcony, a tight cover with plywood or material is required.
The ideal temperature for storing potatoes is between + 2 ° C and + 4 ° C. A higher temperature touches potatoes in growth, and a lower temperature affects the preservation and taste, since the starch in the tubers turns into sugar and they begin to deteriorate. A strong drop in temperature for a short time is not terrible for potatoes.
To protect from the cold, the potatoes are covered with straw or bags. If you want to lower the temperature, open vents and vents. If necessary, put plastic bottles with frozen water.
In large storage facilities on a production scale, different temperatures are set for storing different varieties, but this is almost impossible to do for the basement of the summer resident.
Humidity during storage of potatoes
The humidity in the storage is maintained from 80 to 90%. In drier air, tubers wither and become flabby. Too high humidity provokes the appearance of sprouts and the development of diseases.
To increase the humidity, water is sprayed on the walls or a wet cloth is hung. It is possible to use a humidifier.
To reduce humidity, the room is ventilated, quicklime is scattered on the floor or a container with it is placed, the potatoes are covered with bags of shavings that will absorb moisture. Ordinary red beets can replace them. If you put it on potatoes, it will absorb excess moisture into itself.
Storing potatoes in spring
In late February - early March, the tubers come out of dormancy. To prevent them from growing too early, it is necessary to lower the storage temperature. To do this, at night or in the morning, open vents for the entry of cold air. The temperature should drop to + 1.5 ° C. Seed potatoes, when planting time comes, are taken out, and for the tubers for food, they continue to maintain the necessary storage conditions with frozen water.
POTATOES: EUROPEAN STORAGE
It is best to immediately transfer fruits and vegetables from the garden and vegetable garden directly to the kitchen and process them, closing them in jars, bottles, bottles, barrels, etc.
Now I am already a widow, I do not preserve much, but I do not want the gifts of the land to disappear - I sell the surplus in the market.
Autumn gives us a harvest of potatoes, cabbage, root vegetables, pumpkins, onions, garlic, etc. All this must be removed on time, in good weather. Prepare vegetables first and store in storage. Before frost on the soil, you need to dig up beets, carrots, parsley, celery, parsnips, radishes. Although some of the parsnips and carrots can be left in the ground until spring (covered with foliage, tops), they will delight you with fresh produce after winter or give seeds.
Basically, I wash carrots, beets, parsnips, parsley (root), dry them well and put them in slightly damp sand in the basement, where they are stored until spring without problems.I endure the sand in the summer and dry it for a couple of days in the sun. A couple of years ago I needed sand for mixing the solution, and now I store root crops in a different way.
After washing and drying, I put them in sugar bags (I remove the film from the bags). I keep these bags open, I pierced the walls with a knife in several places. In addition, I cut the carrots by the shoulders, removing the growth point. I cut off beets and other root crops, leaving tails 1-1.5 cm each and without damaging the kidney, and also store them in bags.
Beets can be stacked on top of potatoes. I store parsnips, celery and daikon in bags. I don't store the radish for a long time - we eat it.
I store the potatoes in the basement, after washing them and sorting them out in fractions.
Separately fold for planting after washing, drying and greening. I send cut, damaged tubers for food in the first place, some can be used to get starch. Any trifle and even damaged tubers will go into action - they need to be grated (you can also use a juicer), pouring water on the grater. Rinse the grated potatoes with water and settle several times, pouring off the sediment and removing the dark part from the surface. Then dry it by spreading it out in a thin layer.
I store the rest of the potatoes in the basement on wooden boards on the floor. On the shields under the tubers, I recommend pouring ash, chalk or fluff, and on top throw bunches of peppermint, wormwood, rowan brushes, you can also sprinkle it with chalk. I never pick potatoes all winter - they are stored perfectly.
Once I went to an experiment. Before being lowered into the cellar after washing, part of the crop was placed in a grid and lowered for 4 seconds in steep boiling water. Then she spread it out on a sacking and air-dried it well. Boiling water kills disease spores and inhibits the ability of tubers to germinate. This is done in all restaurants in Europe, the method justifies itself perfectly, but still it is laborious.