It was five months ago that I filled plastic bins with alternating layers of damp peat moss and carrots. So, I thought now would be a good time to update you on how everything has fared after almost half a year in long-term storage. Keep in mind, of course, that these methods don’t apply only to the vegetable gardener; they can also apply to the big-box-store shopper.
Knowing how well the damp-soil method worked for storing carrots and beets, I also used it for storing rutabagas. Rutabagas are normally covered in wax when you buy them in the grocery store. This thin layer of wax keeps the moisture in the vegetable, stopping it from going soft and becoming shriveled. And after unsuccessfully trying three different storage methods for leeks, I figured I’d try the damp-soil method for them as well.
The room they’re stored in is pretty much like a garage. It isn’t insulated and it isn’t heated. It’s a mudroom. It gets to be around 0°C (32°F) throughout the winter, with the temperature rising when it’s warmer outside and lowering when it’s frigid. Since the vegetables are tucked into soil, it insulates them a bit.
Technically all of the vegetables I store in the mudroom are supposed to be kept at different temperatures for optimal storage life, but I don’t have it in me to keep various vegetables around various parts of the house.