These vegetables preserve best in a dry environment. For this reason they do well in cold room storage, instead of a damp root cellar!
The list includes:
- hardened off summer squash
- winter squash
These vegetables will keep for longer periods of time when cured for storage. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Curing vegetables for dry storage is simple and everyone does it differently (which tells you something about the process!) Don’t sweat it. Just do what you can, check ’em every couple days and you’ll do fine!
For largest bulb growth among hardneck garlic, seeds heads (scapes) should be snapped off of each plant when they appear. The proper harvest time for garlic is much debated! Some say to bend over tops as you would with onions to speed the process. Others claim garlic ought to be pulled when the first 3 leaves turn brown on the tips. Some say you ought to wait until all the leaves are turning brown. Choose your method! When ready, pull up the entire plant and set out/hang where it’s no colder than 60F (15C). Make certain there’s good ventilation. Mild sunlight (70F or 21F) won’t hurt them When outside layers are crinkly and dry, trim off tops (or braid if you have softneck garlic) and store away in a ventilated place.
For best keeping qualities, remove seed heads with stalk as they appear. Tops may bent at base to speed up the process if its going too slow, or, just pull ’em up! Uproot and place in a warm environment (mild sunlight is ok-see garlic). When greens have dried, remove the stiff leaves. Move indoors and set in a warm place until bulbs are hard and dry. Store in a dry, well ventilated place.
-see garlic methods-
Leave on vine until after the first light frost. If there’s a hard one coming, harvest ’em all. Freezing damages these vegetables! Pick, leaving stem attached to vegetable (important for shelf life). Bring into a warm environment 23C-27C (75F-80F) and leave until scratches or scrapes in peel heal over (4-10 days). Store away in cool room, leaving space between each individual vegetable. Squash rots quicker when touching a neighboring squash!