How to keep zucchini and pumpkin for the winter at home?
Zucchini, although they, like pumpkin, belong to the pumpkin family, their storage conditions have many common, key points, and many differences. Zucchini and pumpkin can be stored together if the vegetables are whole, without damage, without signs of decay and collected on time: they will not interfere with each other during storage and there will be no risk that the disease will spread from pumpkin to zucchini and vice versa. However, it has been noticed that pumpkins usually lie much longer than zucchini, which is important to take into account when storing the fruits of these vegetable crops together and to check their storage places at least once every couple of weeks, because if zucchini begins to rot, then rot can easily spread to pumpkins.
In addition, it is reliably known that pumpkins can be stored at a significantly higher temperature than zucchini.
Naturally, a long preservation period of both pumpkins and zucchini can be ensured if the technology of harvesting, its preparation for storage, and the storage conditions themselves, specific to the fruits of each of these crops, are correctly observed.
Important! Do not “overexpose” the fruits in storage, try to quickly use them in food. The longer the pumpkins and zucchini are stored, the rougher they become, some of the nutrients are lost, and they can begin to deteriorate at any moment, then all your work will literally go to smarka, do not forget about it.
So, let's start with how to properly store zucchini at home, and then talk about pumpkin.
- Harvesting zucchini for storage
- Basic rules for storing zucchini
- Options for storing zucchini at home
- Harvesting pumpkins for storage
- Storage conditions for pumpkins at home
Harvesting zucchini for storage
As we have already noted, the key to a long and complete storage of zucchini is the timely and proper harvesting. So, as for the zucchini, then they must be removed before the onset of frost (even small ones).
If the crop of zucchini gets frozen, then the whole batch may be spoiled, and they will no longer be suitable for storage. In the very first days after bookmarking for storage, zucchini caught in the cold can begin to rot, and this process will not be stopped.
Keep in mind that those zucchini, the skin of which is quite thick, will be best stored, and if you knock on it, you will hear a dull sound. Seeds should not be fully developed (technical ripeness), the size of the zucchini should be medium.
On the surface of the zucchini should not be any damage, fruits with developmental defects should also be excluded from the party, intended for laying for storage at home. Pay attention to the “drawing” on the skin: given the description of the variety, you will understand whether this instance is ready for harvesting.
Do not forget that during storage, zucchini can ripen, and as soon as this happens, their structure will become loose. Do not be surprised that by cutting a zucchini (taking it out of an improvised storage), the seeds in it will turn out to be germinated - this happens and is not uncommon.
When storing vegetables, you need to cut the vegetables so that a rather large part of it remains (six or seven centimeters long) from the stem. At the same time, the cut must be clear, just the cut, it is impossible to pick the fruit by literally twisting the stem: these fruits will most likely not be stored for a long time.
A smooth cut on the stalk of the vegetable marrow and its rather large length will provide reliable protection against the penetration of microorganisms into the vegetable marrow, which can lead to the appearance of internal rot. In addition, one can judge by the stalk the condition of the fetus as a whole: if it is healthy after a certain storage period, then the fetus is most likely also healthy.
Negative changes with the peduncle suggest that the fetus is also changing for the worse. In the event that even the edge of the stalk has already begun to decay, it is better to get this fruit and use it for its intended purpose, leaving it to be stored further is a big risk.
In order to prevent such incidents, always collect the squash fruits in dry, sunny weather, doing this gently, in no case damaging the surface (skin) of the fruit.
Important! Zucchini intended for storage can not be washed, then they will soon begin to rot. To save them from dust and dirt, it is enough to wipe them with a dry and soft cloth.
Wet vegetables should also not be stored, first they need to be dried by placing them on a ventilated area. Enough for this is just a couple of hours, they need to be laid out in one row and never stacked on top of each other.
Basic rules for storing zucchini
The very first rule, in addition to the subtleties described above, is the right choice of zucchini variety. For example, zucchini varieties of medium and late ripening (from 50 days or more) are best stored. So, the following varieties show very good storage results: Festival, Golden Cup, Gribovsky, Arlik (ripens in 50-60 days, has cylindrical, light green fruits with juicy pulp, weighing up to 700 g and good taste, well stored), Asset, Aeronaut (ripens in 50 days, the fruit weighs a little more than a kilogram, the picture is small dots, the color of the fruit is light green, the pulp is tender, well stored) and Yellow-fruited (the record holder for shelf life, ripens in 50-60 days, has fruit of cylindrical size, weighing about one and a half kilograms with a smooth surface and an orange mesh on a yellow background, creamy flesh, pleasant to the taste).
However, despite the variety, even those with maximum shelf life are better than not storing food longer than the beginning of March, but eat it before that time.
Important! When processing zucchini after storage, be sure to remove the seeds and a small part of the pulp around them, because the seeds become bitter during storage and can give the pulp in which they rest, also a bitter taste.
Options for storing zucchini at home
Zucchini is best stored at a humidity of 80 to 85% and at temperatures up to five degrees Celsius and not lower than zero. If the temperature is high, then the shelf life will be reduced to a minimum (zucchini just rot). It is not necessary to store zucchini in completely dark rooms, they should lie where there is no draft. However, stale air also does not benefit them, the room must be aired periodically, at least once every couple of days.
An important condition for long-term storage of zucchini is the factor that they should not touch each other. Do not store zucchini next door to other fruits and vegetables, excluding pumpkin.
Usually, at home, zucchini is stored in the underground, and if it is an apartment, then on the balcony, which is periodically ventilated, if it is heated, or, conversely, the zucchini is insulated, if the balcony is not heated, covered with warm blankets and placed in wooden boxes covered with foam .
You can try to keep the zucchini in the pantry, laying them on shelves pre-designed there, or hang it like cabbage, but only placing each in a separate grid (for example, from under the onion, even with the remnants of onion husks, it can play the role of an antiseptic).
Zucchini can be stored in a drawer on the balcony in dry sawdust or river sand, but for this they need not be put down, but placed vertically, placed so that the stalks “look” up. It is desirable to place straw or sawdust at the very bottom of the box, a layer in a couple of centimeters.
If the balcony is very cold, then, in addition to blankets with which you can hide the boxes with zucchini on top, they can also be wrapped with craft paper, a regular newspaper or any fabric before being put into the box.
In the event that you have the opportunity to maintain a low positive temperature on the balcony or in the basement, there are boxes and you can place zucchini standing up (so that they do not touch each other), then lay kraft paper or ordinary corrugated cardboard between them.
It is permissible to store zucchini as semi-finished products, this is if there is absolutely no place for their storage and it is impossible to provide suitable conditions. To do this, they can be cut into rings or cubes and dried, wilted, or, even better, banal to freeze.
Important! Do not try to store zucchini whole in the refrigerator, there they will lie for no more than 12-15 days and will begin to rot quickly.
Harvesting pumpkins for storage
Pumpkin is a wonderful and unique vegetable that many of us underestimate. It contains, in fact, everything that the human body needs. In addition, it feels good when grown on different types of soils, sometimes even slightly boggy, in completely different climatic regions. Pumpkins can be made in different sizes and shapes - from huge ones that cannot be lifted by one person to the smallest ones.
Let's move on to storage - as in the case of zucchini, the key to successful pumpkin storage is timely harvesting and the right conditions for further maintenance. How to understand that it is time to collect the pumpkin?
It’s very simple - by the stalk: if it started to dry, changed its color from green to gray, then it’s time to remove the pumpkin from the plot and put it in storage.
Important! In no case do not allow the stalk to separate from the pumpkin fruit. So you will drastically reduce the shelf life of this valuable fruit.
In order to remove the pumpkin from the plot correctly, it is necessary to slightly raise it above the ground, thereby loosening the tops of the tops and (as in the case with the zucchini), cut the fruit with a part of the stalk five or six centimeters long, and not tear it off.
The pumpkin needs to be dried: on all sides its surface should be devoid of even a hint of moisture. The smallest particles of moisture that you overlooked can subsequently become foci of rot and mold, which develops quite actively during storage.
When the pumpkin is laid dry, without damage, harvested on time and with the whole stalk, then it can easily lie before the new crop.
Storage conditions for pumpkins at home
It's nice that the pumpkin can be stored under conditions that are comfortable for us too: that is, at a humidity of 80-85% and a temperature of up to 22 degrees Celsius. The main thing is that in the room where the pumpkin is stored, the temperature does not fall below a couple of degrees of heat and does not go over zero towards frost.
The second important condition is to try to provide the pumpkin with a constant temperature without sharp fluctuations. For example, at home, put it in a pantry or on a heated balcony, if it is an apartment.
The pumpkin can be stored as simply in the open form, laying, say, on a burlap (plywood, any boards, any thick cloth or a bunch of newspapers), and in a covered one (all the same burlap); both in bulk (folded neatly in a pyramid), and in boxes or paper boxes that are sized to fit the size of a pumpkin fruit.
It is wonderful if the pumpkin is reliably protected from sunlight and not only direct, but generally any, that is, stored in the dark.
During the storage period, about once a week, check the safety of the pumpkin. If a particular fruit begins to rot, then it must immediately be removed and put into processing, carefully cut to a healthy tissue and removed the center of rot.
More often monitor the humidity in the room where the pumpkins are stored, it should not be too dry. This may cause them to dry out. If the humidity drops below 80%, then you can spray the air from the spray gun or place the pumpkins in a wetter room, but preferably with the same temperature or its minimum deviation from the temperature of the previous storage location.
As in the case of zucchini, if there is no place to store pumpkin, then you can cook a semi-finished product. To do this, first you need to thoroughly wash the pumpkin, then peel off the entire peel, then cut into two, three or four parts, be sure to remove the seeds along with the seed of pulp and tightly pack it, wrapping it with cling film. After that, you need to put the pumpkin in the freezer of an ordinary household refrigerator. In such conditions, the pumpkin will lie for a rather long time and will be suitable for many types of processing (with the exception of processing for juice).
By the way, pumpkin seeds, when roasted, are very useful for the stomach and intestines and contain a large amount of vitamins. If you don’t want to fry, you can simply put them in any metal container and put them on the heating battery for a couple of days, there they will dry out during this time and they can also be eaten, like fried ones.
Important! You can’t overcook pumpkin seeds, so you will kill most of the good qualities of the seeds. It is enough to fry them for only 1-2 minutes in a hot pan, no more.
That's all we wanted to tell you about storing zucchini and pumpkins. If you have your personal secrets of storing these vegetables, then share them in the comments, we think that it will be very useful to everyone!