Carrots can be stored for winter use in a number of ways.
On well-drained soils they can be left in the ground, protected from the cold by a thick layer of straw, bracken or soil. Carrots stored in this way can be difficult to harvest, however, so it’s better to make an earth clamp.
Choose a sheltered, dry site to make your clamp, and only choose carrots in good condition. Prepare the crops by shaking off loose soil and removing any foliage.
You can also use this method to store other root veg like parsnips, swedes, turnips, beetroot, celeriac, scorzonera and radishes.
Follow the steps in this easy guide to storing carrots, below.
You Will Need
- Horticultural sand
Use a spade to dig a shallow hole about 6 inches deep in a sheltered spot in well-drained soil. Next to the kitchen door will provide quick pickings.
Pour a layer of horticultural sand on the bottom of the hole, about an inch or two thick.
Lay out your carrots on the first bed of sand, then cover them with a second layer of sand. Only store carrots that are in good condition.
Insulate the carrots with a generous layer of clean straw.
Finish off the clamp by covering the straw-covered hole with soil. Stored this way from an autumn harvest, the carrots should keep until early spring.
Lots of carrots to store?
If you have a real carrot glut, you could try creating a much larger earth clamp. Start by digging a circular hole then adding a layer of sand to the bottom. Create a ring of tightly packed carrots, about a metre in diameter, with their necks facing outwards. Continue adding carrots to create a pyramid shape.
Insulate the carrots with a 30cm thick layer of clean straw. In cold areas, add a layer of soil for extra frost protection. Cover with plastic sheeting.