If you decide to start growing watermelons at a dacha or a private plot, you should think in advance how to keep these pumpkins from the pumpkin family fresh - it is unlikely that a large, round, striped yummy will be mastered quickly. You can make so that a huge spherical berry does not lose its beneficial properties until the winter itself.
Which watermelons are suitable for storage for the winter. In what conditions is it better to store
For long-term storage, late thick-walled varieties with strong pulp, such as Lezhky, Melitopol, Bykovsky or Volzhsky, are best suited. You can save up to 5 months.
When choosing a watermelon, preference should be given to fruits that:
- weigh no more than 5 kilograms;
- strong and smooth in appearance and touch;
- have medium size and regular spherical shape;
- on the crust have no scratches, sunburns, dents, and similar defects;
- are moderately ripe, this is very important, since unripe fruits will not be preserved for long.
When carrying and transferring watermelons, be sure to wear rag gloves: damaging the bark is extremely easy.
Basement and cellar - the best places for long storage until the New Year, but only if the following conditions are met:
- The temperature there is approximately + 1-4 degrees. If the temperature is higher, then the watermelon will ferment, all its useful properties will disappear very quickly.
- Humidity of air - 70-80%. If the humidity is lower, the watermelons will become “cotton”, will no longer be juicy and sweet. If it is higher, then the fruits will very quickly overcome the fungi and bacteria, and they will rot.
Also, the storage room should be well ventilated and dark (preferably completely inaccessible to the sun).
In addition to the cellar and the basement for storage is quite suitable garage with an attic. But only, of course, if there are no holes in the roof. Auditory windows (if any, of course, are available), you must be sure to shut or pound the boards.
Methods for long-term storage of watermelons
Immediately it is important to remember: in case of long storage, watermelons should lie only on soft surfaces. Between them should be placed something soft. Otherwise, spots and dents will appear on the peel, the fruits will begin to deteriorate.
It is best to store round berries in boxes for vegetables. This is done like this:
- To prevent rotting, as well as to absorb excess moisture, dry sand is poured into the boxes. It is considered a fairly reliable protective filler.
- The watermelons are laid very carefully down on the top of the stem.
- Finally, additional sand is poured into the boxes so that it fills all the gaps between the individual watermelons, as well as “with the head” covered them.
Instead of sand, it is quite possible to use well-dried grain.
Other good vessels and protective fillers for storing giant fruits in a cellar or basement are:
- Ash and wooden barrel. Wood ash is poured into the barrel (thicker layer). Put watermelons on top. All voids are covered with additional ash. The berries themselves are also covered with it. It is important that in the ashes there are no large unburned sharp chips or pieces of coal: they can scratch the watermelon bark.
- Straw and shelving. Straw is laid out on the grave shelves with straw, and on top of it are watermelon fruits. At the end of their good straw.
- Wax (and paraffin). Watermelons are put on the shelves and covered with a large layer (about 1 cm) of melted wax. You can also use alabaster.
- Clay. Clay is diluted in water until it acquires the consistency of fat sour cream. Take a brush and it “sour cream” is applied to the watermelons. Then you need to wait until the clay dries. When this happens, you need to put on the berries another layer of “sour cream”. And so to repeat, until the crust of watermelons will not be covered with clay about half a centimeter in thickness. Then the berries are placed on sawdust.
- Moss. Dry moss put the bottom of the box (preferably wooden) layer thicker. Watermelons are laid out on top. In the end, all voids are also mossy.
Watermelons in the cellar or basement can be stored and hung on a hook under the ceiling with the help of a grid (an ordinary string bag will also be suitable for its role). But first, the fruit must be wrapped with thick natural fabric (a thin non-woven fabric will also work).
With any method of storage at least once a week, you need to check whether all of the watermelons are in order, if individual fruits have begun to rot.
How to keep watermelons in an apartment before the New Year
It is quite realistic to save watermelon in the apartment for a long time But, however, only in the presence of more or less cold and dry rooms (such as a closet or glazed balcony).
To do this, the berries should be wrapped with wrapping paper or some other material that does not transmit light, kept away from the sun and any heating devices, and turned over at least once every few days. If there are no cold and dry rooms in the apartment, then a refrigerator will come to the rescue. But in his usual branches, the berries of a pumpkin plant will begin to deteriorate within a day.
Fortunately, there is still a freezer in the fridge. But at once we will make a reservation: the watermelon will not remain perfectly fresh in it for a long time: low temperatures will begin to change its consistency, the pulp will become watery, the taste properties will slightly spoil. However, the fruits will still remain quite edible and pleasant to taste for more than one month, they can eat during the celebration of the New Year. So, watermelon:
- Cut into slices (triangular or some other shape) and cleaned of crusts and seeds.
- They should be placed on a tray or baking tray; in no case should the slices come into contact with each other.
- Put in freezer.
- Slices are placed in separate sachets or containers.
- Again put in the freezer.
You can do without trays and trays: immediately put the watermelon pieces into airtight bags and freeze.
Watermelon is a very tasty summer berry. From it you can prepare fruit creams, smoothies, juice and ice cream. The above methods of storing a huge round delicacy will help to enjoy the taste of berries in the coldest winter days.