Question from Bob in Creston, B.C.
I store carrots in slightly dampened peat moss in a cool (15°C) basement. Some of them are rotting. What’s causing this?
An expert’s reply:
We asked Niki Jabbour of Nova Scotia, an expert at savvygardening.com and author of Groundbreaking Food Gardens and The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, for her advice about carrots rotting:
“It’s not difficult to extend the harvest of homegrown root crops, such as carrots, parsnips and beets, by storing them for weeks or even months, but you need to provide the right conditions. To hold their quality and remain crisp, root vegetables require cool temperatures, high humidity and darkness. Aim for a temperature between 1° and 5° C. Warmer temperatures will cause the roots to rot or sprout. Because it can be difficult for a homeowner to find the right spot for storage indoors, I prefer to leave my root vegetables in the ground in late fall and winter, protecting them with cold frames or deep mulching. We harvest them as needed through the winter months.”
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