when you invest the time, energy, and money into your garden or buying local it is important for you to know how to protect that investment. below we have provided an easy resource outlining the basics for storing veggies and a more in depth view based on specific varieties. as always, email us at clementinespandp@gmail with any questions or comments.
the basics. . .
10 Tips for optimum vegetable storage
by The Stone Soup
1. Start with the freshest produce
2. Get rid of any damaged vegetables because they pass the damage on
3. Dirt is good. Leaving a little dirt on root vegetables like carrots, artichokes, and potatoes while storing can help.
4. Avoid cutting or trimming. A whole pumpkin, squash, or melon will keep much longer than a cut piece.
5. Pay attention to the temperature. Different vegetables like different temperatures.
6. Protect from light exposure by storing your veggies in the dark.
7. Minimize dehydration by storing higher moisture veggies in plastic bags or containers in the refrigerator.
8. Avoid condensation and sweating. Use a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Store mushrooms in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator.
9. Beware of the bananas. Do not store bananas next to your veggies, or anything really. They make everything ripen because they release ethylene gas.
10. Don't refrigerate your tomatoes
a bit more specific...
Artichokes (Green Globe)
Artichokes are quite perishable and should be used as soon as possible. Put them in the
refrigerator for storage.
Place in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a towel.
If your beets still have greens attached, cut them off, leaving an inch of stem. These greens
should be kept unwashed and refrigerated in a closed plastic bag. Store the beet roots, with the
rootlets (or "tails") attached, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator.
They will keep for several weeks, but their sweetness diminishes with time. So try to use them
within a week.
If left on the stem brussels can be hung in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month. If separate store
brussels in a bowl in the refrigerator.
Heads will keep in the crisper compartment of the refrigerator
Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Wrap dry, unwashed cauliflower loosely in plastic and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep
for up to a week but will taste sweetest if used within a few days.
Store unwashed celeriac in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for several
Eat it now! But if you must put off eating corn, leave the husks on and refrigerate the ear in a
plastic bag for as little time as possible.
If you store unwashed cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper bin, they hold
for at least a week. Keep cucumbers tucked far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus which
give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration.
Store in a cool, well ventilated place away from light, like in a pantry.
Store in a cupboard in an airtight container. Over time herbs lose their flavor, but they will
keep for a very long time.
1 year +
Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not plastic) to absorb any moisture, and keep it in the
hydrater drawer (if you have one) of your refrigerator. If you don’t store eggplant wrapped in
a towel on your counter. Eggplant prefers to be stored at 50 degrees.
Cut off the stalks where they emerge from the bulb, and if you want to use the feathery foliage
as an herb, place the dry stalks upright in a glass filled with two inches of water. Cover the
glass loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for few days. The unwashed bulb
may be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least a week.
Fingerling Potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes and Sweet Potatoes
Store in a cool, well ventilated place away from light, like in a pantry. Do not refrigerate!
(Swiss chard, Collards, Lettuce, Kale, Mustards, Spinach, Turnip Greens, etc.)
Place in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Make sure there is no air inside of the bag.
Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a glass of water. Change the water every
Leeks keep best (up to 2 months) when placed in a bucket of damp peat (sand or sawdust
also work). Stand the leeks with the roots on the peat and push them down into the peat a
little. Keep the leek bulb/stalk above the damp peat. Trim the tops and keep in a cool, dark
place with some humidity. If you are going to use the leeks quickly you can store them in your
Once the melon ripens, then store it in the refrigerator. Handle watermelons carefully. When
harvested at their peak ripeness, they can crack or split easily if bumped or roughly handled.
Refrigerate watermelons right away. (Watermelons do not ripen off the vine and do not
impart a ripe smell.) Cut melon should be covered in plastic wrap, and chunks or slices should
be kept in an air-tight container. Eat melons within a week.
1 week after being cut
Store bulbs in a cool, dry place in an open weave mesh basket or bag to allow free air
circulation. Do not store with other vegetables.
2 weeks - 1 month
Parsnips and Turnips
Refrigerate unwashed parsnips in a loosely-wrapped or perforated plastic bag. Stored in the
crisper drawer of your refrigerator, they can keep up to two weeks.
Peas are best when used quickly after harvesting, but they can be refrigerated in plastic bags.
Peas can be frozen, canned, or even dried. They will keep for up to 1 year in any of these forms.
Keep unwrapped in the refrigerator crisper
Remove the tops before refrigerating and store them open in the refrigerator. Roots can be
kept in a cold, moist place for 2-4 months.
Store beans in perforated plastic bags in the warmer part of your refrigerator. Cool cellar
storage is also possible.
Summer squash respire through their skins, so they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible.
Store them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin, or refrigerate them in a
sealed Tupperware container that youÕve lined with a kitchen towel. In the refrigerator they
keep for about a week and a half.
Store in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation, like a porch or garage, but make sure
they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for several months, depending
on the variety. You can also make them into a beautiful arrangement on your table - they
won’t keep quite as long, but then again you might be inspired to eat them more quickly. Once
cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.
2 months (before cut) 5-7 days (after cut)
Refrigerate in the main compartment in a paper bag OR keep out in a dry place away from
sunlight in a paper bag.
Store in a cool place away from light. Pantries, basements, or garages are good for storing
ripe tomatoes. Do not store tomatoes by bananas or apples. Do not put your tomatoes in the