Two years ago, we lost half the carrot crop – it just rotted.
It was extremely disappointing because in that season we collected a lot of selected carrots. And the reason for this was wet bacterial rot, which affects root crops during storage.
The damage from infection is especially great if August turned out to be wet and the autumn turned out to be warm.
Bookmarking the storage of dry, frozen carrots, abuse of nitrogen fertilizing during the season, and too high temperature in the cellar (above +5 degrees) – all this contributes to the rapid spread of bacterial rot.
The causative agent of the disease is a bacterium called Erwinia carotovora, which infects carrot plants in the garden. It is transmitted through the soil and carried by the larvae of a carrot fly.
But the development of wet rot occurs during the period the crop is in the vegetable store. However, early symptoms are detected immediately after root crops are removed from the soil. They appear in the form of recessed dark brown spots on the upper part of root crops.
Over time, the infected area becomes covered with a layer of mucus, softens, and falls inside.
Bacterial carrot rot: preventive measures
Timely harvesting is the most important preventive measure against this sore.
In more northern latitudes, it is desirable to do this in mid-September, in the middle of Russia, work is usually carried out in the first ten days of October. But in the south, it is permissible to postpone it until the end of October.
It is not recommended to wash root crops before harvesting for storage. In a humid environment, bacterial rot develops especially actively.
To prepare a carrot for laying in the cellar, it should be dried and sorted – remove deformed and damaged copies.
The crop can withstand temperatures from +10 to +12 for about a week and a half. Further, the temperature begins to decrease (about half a degree per day) and gradually bring it to the recommended values. Let me remind you that carrots are better stored at a temperature of 0 … + 2 and relative humidity of 90 to 95%.
For long-term storage, choose varieties in which root crops accumulate a lot of dry matter and sugars. These include Losinoostrovskaya, Artek, Moscow Winter A 515, Vitamin 6.
Hybrids of foreign selection – Narbonne, Vita Longa – are characterized by high productivity, but they are less resistant to wet bacterial rot than domestic varieties.
In wet summer, carrots begin to deteriorate even in the garden
Carrots of different ripening periods are distributed in different boxes.
The closest to the entrance to the vegetable storehouse are containers with varieties like Nantes 4, in the center of the cellar place boxes with Vitamin 6, Losinoostrovskaya. And the far corner of the room is allocated for the harvest of the Moscow winter A 515.
The most unpleasant feature of wet bacterial rot is the rapid rate of development of the disease. As a result, wet porridge remains in a place of healthy root crops, and you have to throw out the entire crop.
In a warm cellar, up to 70% of the crop can disappear due to an ailment!
If the room is equipped with a cooling system, losses can be reduced by 20%, and with sand and clay chatters another 10-15% of root crops can be saved.
In order to minimize damage from bacterial rot, carrots are not stored on the cellar floor, but in open wooden crates with a capacity of 30-35 kilograms or in dense plastic bags of 5-10 liters.
Larger bags made of kraft paper or polyethylene are also acceptable. Only in this case, from their walls need to be made from 3 to 5 holes with a diameter of about a centimeter.
Carrots are placed in containers in layers, sprinkled with peat or clean, slightly damp sand, and placed on the floor or on shelves.
If you follow all the conditions and recommendations mentioned, your carrot will be perfectly stored until spring. We have learned a lesson from the experience of that season and now we always pay full attention to all stages of the preparation and laying of the crop in the cellar.