Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600025


   Root  crops  may  be stored in the  garden  or  the  root
cellar.  If left in the garden, they should be covered  with
1  1/2 - 2 inches of insulating material. Parsnips,  salsify
and  horseradish  are particularly  sensitive  to  alternate
freezing  and  thawing so keep them  covered  until  outside
temperatures are consistently low, then remove the mulch  to
permit thorough freezing. After they have frozen, mulch them
deep enough to keep them frozen.                            

  Before  storing root crops in the cellar, wait  until  the
storage area is cool.  The plants may be left in the  garden
until then (late fall). Dig up the root when the soil is dry
so less  soil will  cling to the  roots.  Cut  off the  root
crop  tops  about  1/2 inch  above  the  root. They  may  be
washed, but  should  be allowed  to dry before being stored.
Temperature of the storage area should be between 32 and  40
degrees Fahrenheit  and  very  humid.   Temperatures   above
45   degrees  Fahrenheit   will   encourage   woodiness  and
sprouting.  Pack the root crops in bins  or  crates  between
layers of  moist  sand,  sawdust,  sphagnum  or  peat  moss.
Containers  should  be  lined  with  a  perforated   plastic

  If  the humidity is not high enough in the  storage  area,
place  the  roots in plastic bags in which at least  4,  1/4
inch holes have been cut.  Store only healthy root crops. If
storage  conditions are right, the root crops should keep  3
to 5 months, except for kohlrabi, which keeps for only a few

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