By Heather Rhoades
Homegrown carrots are so delicious that it is very natural for a gardener to wonder if there is a way of storing garden carrots so that they will last through the winter. While carrots can be frozen or canned, this ruins the satisfying crunch of a fresh carrot and, oftentimes, storing carrots for winter in the pantry results in rotten carrots. What if you could learn how to store carrots in your garden all winter long? Overwintering carrots in the ground is possible and only requires a few easy steps.
Steps for Overwintering Carrots in the Ground
The first step to leaving carrots in the ground for later harvest in the winter is to make sure that the garden bed that the carrots are growing in is well weeded. This will make sure that while you are keeping the carrots alive, you do not also keep the weeds alive for next year.
The next step for storing carrots for winter in the ground is to heavily mulch the bed where the carrots are growing with straw or leaves. Make sure that the mulch is pushed securely against the tops of the carrots.
Be warned that when you are overwintering carrots in the ground, the carrot tops will eventually die off in the cold. The carrot root below will be just fine and will taste fine after the tops die, but you may have trouble finding the carrot roots after this. You may want to mark the locations of the carrots before you mulch because of this.
After this, storing garden carrots in the ground is just a matter of time. As you need carrots, you can go out to your garden and harvest them. You may find that the carrots will get sweeter as the winter progresses. This is because the plant starts to concentrate its sugars in order to help it survive the cold.
Carrots can be left in the ground all winter long, but you will want to harvest all of them before early spring. Once spring arrives, the carrots will flower and will become inedible.
Now that you know how to store carrots in the ground, you can enjoy your fresh and crunchy homegrown carrots nearly all year round. Overwintering carrots is not only easy, it is space saving. Try leaving carrots in the ground for winter this year.