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 Post subject: Food Item: Rutabagas/turnips
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:26 am 
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Food Item: Rutabagas/turnips


Successful cold storage

By Sylvia Gist


Ideally, I would have a root cellar which maintained the correct temperature for the produce I would like to keep. Unfortunately, it’s not that ideal, so I have to look for other places to store things. Fortunately, different vegetables like different temperatures, so everything doesn’t have to go in the same place. Other storage options (depending upon the item) include in the ground, under a staircase, unheated rooms, outside stairwells, pits in the ground, or extra refrigerators, to name a few.

A storage method is only the last step to having successful cold storage and fresh vegetables in the winter. The first step begins with the seed catalog; it is extremely important to choose cultivars which store well. For example, not every type of carrot will still be edible the following May. Most seed catalogs are good at telling us which ones have good storage qualities. I have relied on their recommendations and have found particular cultivars of a number of vegetables that store very well for me.

Planting time and harvest time also affect the success of storage. Many storage vegetables are planted later and harvested after frost. In the following discussion, I will note what works best for me as I deal with a fairly short growing season and cool nights.

-snip- --- FULL article can be found at link, above ---


utabagas, known also as Swede turnips, are good candidates for storage. The turnip, however, gets mixed reviews. Johnny’s Seeds doesn’t recommend turnip storage, but some people have done it. Plant Purple Top White Globe in July or August and harvest three-inch maximum roots before heavy frost, cut off the tops, and treat them like carrots.

Laurentian and Purple Top (rutabaga, not turnip) are two common rutabaga cultivars recommended for winter storage. Plant in mid-June to mid-July or 90 days before intended harvest. Wait until there has been at least a couple of good frosts, usually October here, before digging for storage. If the roots are working their way out of the ground, I would hill some soil over them or mulch them when there may be a chance of freezing so the roots don’t get damaged before I harvest. Cut off the tops and store like carrots. However, rutabagas shrivel easier than carrots, so you want to be sure to keep them moist. They can be waxed (sometimes you see them waxed in the supermarkets) to reduce dehydration; beeswax would be best if you choose this route. Rutabagas can be expected to last for two to four months in storage.

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