All About Root Vegetables
Root vegetables are great because you get to enjoy the bounty of your garden well into winter. They are delicious on their own, or you can use them together in soups, stews, or whatever else you want to put on the menu.
Our Recommendation… BigYellowBag Premium Black Garden Soil
When you’re planting them, we recommend that you use BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil. It is a fantastic growing medium for root vegetables because the soil has light and fluffy properties. BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil is made up of a mix of black loam, peat loam, compost, and manure. Loam is a soil type perfectly comprised of sand, silt, and clay for an excellent balance of drainage and moisture retention. The soil is also packed with essential nutrients and organic matter root vegetables need to grow healthy and strong. Once they’re done growing, though, it’s important to harvest and store your root vegetables correctly.
How Do I Harvest Root Vegetables?
Don’t use a shovel to dig potatoes up, you might accidentally slice them. Instead, use a fork to gently lift the plant out of the soil and then remove the potatoes. Brush the dirt off and then leave them out for a few days on a drying rack or on a screen in a dark, well-ventilated area. This will give them a chance to dry off completely before you store them. Toss the green potatoes, though. Not only will they have a bitter taste, but they can actually make you sick.
When harvesting onions, look at their necks and if they’re soft, then you can go ahead and pull them. You should let the onion grow a little longer if they’re still rigid. Gently work the onions out of the soil with a hand trowel if you’re having trouble removing them from the soil. Be careful not to cut the onions as you’re getting them out of the ground, they are similar to potatoes that way. Once you’ve got them out, you should cure them. Spread them out on a clean and dry surface in a well-ventilated area and leave them for two to three weeks, or until the tops and necks are completely dry.
Carrots can be a bit tricky to know when it’s time to pull them. Brushing away the soil to check the diameter is a good rule of thumb. You can pull when it is about an inch. The same principle applies to parsnips.
One Last Thing…
Don’t leave your root vegetables for too long in the soil before you harvest. Bigger isn’t always better; they’ll start getting a more bitter and woody flavour as time goes on. Also, when you harvest the bigger ones, the smaller ones will have more space to stretch out and grow, and you’ll have a better crop to enjoy.