"> Tips | Green Thumb Gardener

Category Archives for Tips

Best Types of Beets To Plant In Your Garden

Best 19 Types of Beets To Plant In Your Garden

All the types of beets originally came from the Middle East where they came under the plough in the 8th century BC mainly for medicinal purposes. 

French chefs subsequently saw its cuisine potential and used them as a side dish. From that time the beet gained a permanent place on the menu.

This list of the best beets to grow will get you some ideas of the different ones to plant in your garden.

Continue reading

How Long Do Strawberries Last | Expert Storage Tips

landscape design ideas

How Long Do Strawberries Last | Best Storage Tips

When you hear the name of strawberries,you think of a reddish, triangular or roundish fruit that you hold between two fingers, drop in your mouth and savor its delicious and tangy taste. We get so engrossed in eating it we usually don’t bother to ask how long do strawberries last.

Strawberries are a delicate fruit that does not last forever.

Continue reading

How Long Do Blueberries Last | Best Preserving Tips

mushroom growing

How Long Do Blueberries Last | Best Storage Tips

Blueberries are touted as being one of the wonder fruits of our times, packed with vitamins C and K and antioxidants for vibrant health, blueberries are so vital we should really be asking ourselves, “How Long Do Blueberries Last”.

Blueberries shelf life has many factors that come into play. 

Continue reading

How Long Do Pickles Last | Best Storage Tips

woodworking plans

How Long Do Pickles Last | Best Storage Tips

Pickles are a favorite snack that we love to have in our homes. You might be curious as ask just how long do pickles last.

Our ancestors did not have the luxury of having a refrigerator or freezer to store all of their harvest. 

If you garden and grow cucumbers..you might know that cucumbers come out like gangbusters once they start growing.

Continue reading

How Long Do Tomatoes Last | Best Storage Tips

mushroom growing

How Long Do Tomatoes Last | Best Storage Tips

Tomatoes are technically a fruit, one that does not have an indefinite shelf life.  You might be wondering just how long do tomatoes last.

We answer all those questions, plus give you some of the best tips to store & prepare them to last longer.  Proper techniques will really help when you are trying to preserve tomatoes.

Tomato’s shelf life is really dependant on your careful preparation and shelf storage practices.  

Oxygen, moisture, temperature and light are typically the 4 common spoilers with any food.  Keep all of these limited and you will make them last longer.

Here are some common storage times

  • Ripe tomatoes will last 7-10 days at room temperature, unripe tomatoes will last an additional 2-5 days depending on how ripe it is

  • Ripe tomatoes will last for 5-10 days in the fridge

  • Cut tomatoes last about 3-4 days in the fridge

  • Canned tomatoes last for 12-18 months

  • Frozen tomatoes will last for 3-6 months in the freezer

  • Cooked tomatoes will last for approximately 4-6 days in the fridge

  • Pickled tomatoes lasts for about 4-6 months if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly

Right-from-the-garden tomatoes don't exist year round, so many of us have to depend on stores for our vegetables and fruits. 

Continue reading

How Long Do Lemons Last | Extend Shelf Life

mushroom growing

How Long Do Lemons Last | Extend Shelf Life

Lemons are a fruit that is best serve chilled in a glass if you ask me.  You might be asking question of how long do lemons last, so you can best store them.

We have all the details, plus a way to preserve them Morroccan style. Lemons shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

Here are some of the approximate times of common storage practices:

  • Properly stored lemons will last 3-4 weeks at room temperature 

  • Freshly harvested lemons will last for 1-2 months in the fridge

  • Cut lemons last about 3-4 days in the fridge

  • Frozen lemons will last for 4-5 months in the freezer

  • Cooked lemons will last for approximately 3-4 days in the fridge

  • Pickled lemons lasts for about 4-6 months if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly

You will learn about the shelf life of lemons, plus some tips on how to make lemons last longer.

Continue reading

How Long Do Apples Last | Epic Storage Guide

landscape design ideas

How Long Do Apples Last | Epic Storage Guide

Apples' shelf life is decided by several variables, as there is usually no specific date for its sale, and the only date you go by is the day you purchased or picked them. It still begs the question of how long do apples last.

  • Properly stored apples will last 2-5 weeks at room temperature. 
  • Freshly harvested apples will last for 5-9 weeks in the fridge
  • Frozen apples will last for 9-12 months in the freezer
  • Cooked apples will last for approximately 5-7 days in the fridge.
  • Pickled apples lasts for about 4-6 months if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly.

Apples are amongst the world's best fruit and they can be consumed right from the tree or used in lots of ways due to their minimal cost, confirmed health benefits and longer shelf-life. 

Continue reading

How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last | Top Storage Tips

landscape design ideas

How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Last | Best Storage Tips

Sweet Potatoes are a root vegetable that does not last forever.  It still begs the question of how long do sweet potatoes last.

Sweet Potatoes’s shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

  • Properly stored sweet potatoes will last 3-5 weeks at room temperature

  • Freshly harvested sweet potatoes will last for 2-3 months in the fridge

  • Cooked sweet potatoes will last for approximately 7-9 days in the fridge

  • Frozen sweet potatoes will last for 6-8 months in the freezer 

  • Pickled sweet potatoes lasts for about 2-3 weeks if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly

You will learn about the shelf life of sweet potatoes, plus some tips on how to make sweet potatoes last longer.

There is more to just sticking sweet potatoes in your food pantry.  You will learn the many different ways to extend onion’s shelf life.  

Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat. 

It is important to know how long sweet potatoes could stay before you attempt preserving them. Also, it is the same with other root vegetables; sweet potatoes do spoil after some time. 

If you want to prolong the life of those vegetables, then to store them properly should not be overlooked.

Continue reading

How Long Do Avocados Last | Tips to Avoid Spoilage

mushroom growing

How Long Do Avocados Last | Tips to Avoid Spoilage

To engage in an avocado spending spree and buy as many as you want is not an issue, it’s the task of preserving them that poses challenges and we need to ask the question, How long do avocados last?

Avocados shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.

  • Avocados will last 3 to 6 days at room temperature before they ripen
  • Freshly harvested avocados will last for 6-10 days in the fridge
  • Cooked avocados will last for approximately 6-12 days in the fridge
  • Frozen avocados will last up to 4 months in the freezer


Freshly harvested fruits & vegetables will last much longer than what you grab in your local market.


You will learn about the shelf life of avocados, plus some tips on how to make avocados last longer.


Our suggestions are assume that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.


Use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat. 

Continue reading

How Long Do Oranges Last | Top Storage Tips

seeds

How Long Do Oranges Last | Top Storage Tips

Oranges are a fruit that you don’t need to eat right away after harvesting.  Many still question of how long do oranges last because you don’t want them to go to waste.

Oranges shelf life is dependant on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

  • Properly stored oranges will last 2-3 weeks at room temperature. 
  • Freshly harvested oranges will last for 1-2 months in the fridge.
  • Cooked oranges will last for approximately 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Frozen oranges will last for up to a year in the freezer.  
  • Canned oranges lasts for about 12-18 months if canned, and stored properly.

We give you the details about the shelf life of oranges, plus some tips on how to make oranges last longer with some preservation tips.

There is more to just storing oranges in your food pantry.  You will learn the many different ways to extend orange’s shelf life.  Our suggestions require that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat.

Continue reading

How Long Do Onions Last | Best Onion Storage Tips

landscape design ideas

How Long Do Onions Last | Best Onion Storage Tips

Onions are a root vegetable that does not last forever.  It still begs the question of how long do onions last.

Onions’s shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it. 

  • Freshly harvested onions will last for 1-2 months in the fridge.

  • Properly stored onions will last 2-3 months at room temperature.  

  • Cooked onions will last for approximately 7-9 days in the fridge.

  • Frozen onions will last for 2-12 months in the freezer.  

  • Pickled onions lasts for about 4-6 months if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly.

You will learn about the shelf life of onions, plus some tips on how to make onions last longer.

There is more to just sticking onions in your food pantry.  You will learn the many different ways to extend onion’s shelf life.  Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat.

Continue reading

Can You Grow Corn in a Pot?

Can You Grow Corn In A Pot?

At first glance, the question of, "Can you grow corn in a pot" raises a challenge to people like me.

You see I never grew up in the bread basket section of the US.  My experience as a city dweller limited some of my capabilities to plant corn.

This gave me a unique outlook, so I embarked on experimenting with this myself

But is it really possible to grow corn in a pot isolated from those that grow in large fields or in your own backyard garden?

The answer is yes, it’s definitely possible and it can also be a highly gratifying experience.

This gardening method requires personal effort to ensure the successful planting, caring and harvesting of the corn plants. 

It offers planters the excitement of watching the plants grow individually, the satisfaction of successfully nurturing them.

Seeing them flower and bear their ripe and nutritious cobs.

Being Small is Convenient

Do you believe it’s a practice worth emulating? If yes, I’ll join you through this article and guide you all the way from start to finish.

You will find that the benefits outweigh the downsides. 

You’ll get a different view of having corn growing in containers in a predetermined space right where you live and not somewhere in a huge field. 

It may be just a small space, but it is convenient to manage and its fruits, though few in number, are just as gratifying and a treat to enjoy.

Can You Grow Corn In A Pot

Just think for a minute what the really big farmers have to do to work their huge corn fields. 

There’s the application of weed killers, the plowing, seed broadcasting, spraying of insecticide and finally the harvesting, all gargantuan tasks. 

The rewards are huge also but just imagine all that activity and machinery and the huge space needed not to mention the expenses!

Yes, as the saying goes, small is beautiful.

You’re looking for a tiny weenie niche in comparison, but with the same kind of thrill and satisfaction without the huge size and all the minuses that go with it. 

Do you have space available in your backyard, at the side of your house, under the patio or even your rooftop? 

These are the type of spaces you’d need for your corn growing project.

Choosing Your Containers or Pots

Selecting the right container shouldn’t be a problem provided you keep in mind that corn prefers big, open spaces. 

This means that the container you choose should, as far as is practical, mimic the kind of freedom that the big fields provide for corn plants. 

For mimicry to be successful, you’d need very good drainage, depth for the main root, width for nutritional intake and of course stability. 

..your container is destined to ensure that your corn plants will grow in an environment.  #corn #shtf #prepping #gardentips

Click to Tweet

Very good drainage needed? It’s easy, just a few holes in the bottom of the container.

Why are these aspects important? Because your container is destined to ensure that your corn plants will grow in an environment that is almost as similar as the environment that corn plants naturally grow in.

It is not difficult to copy nature’s ecosystem on a smaller scale. You just need to combine the elements into a whole to make it work for your corn plants. 

For example, a disused whiskey barrel would be a suitable container that can hold 8 – 10 plants.

Corn Is A Social Plant

Corn is reputed to enjoy the company of other plants growing in the same gardening space.

This does not only benefit you as a planter in having healthy corn plants, it also benefits the terrestrial ecosystem in a kind of symbiotic existence. 

You may have heard of the “Three Sisters” method of planting, used by Native Americans, so you know what is involved here.

Three plants, corn, climbing beans and squash planted together in the same spot form this triad symbiotic chain of co-existence. 

The fast growing corn provides support for the climbing beans when young. The spiraling climbing beans in turn support the corn before the cobs appear and help support the corn stalk. 

The climbing beans also fix nitrogen in the soil and fertilize all three. There are benefits galore here.

But it would be unfair not to mention what the leaves of the squash do.

Can You Grow Corn In A Pot

Squash leaves are tough and they provide protection for the tender leaves of the climbing beans from hungry pests. The plant even goes as far as discouraging hungry animals like raccoons from invading the garden. 

Corn also pollinate other corn plants through wind action which means that in order to grow well, corn must be planted closely together; you and the plants both benefit.

The Win-Win Planting Strategy

The containers you’ll be using won’t be movable once they’re filled, so you should place them early where sunlight is greatest. 

Corn plants need lots of sunlight for growth as do the corn plants out in the huge fields so it would be wise to pick space with plenty of sunlight for you corn plants and allow them to grow to 6 – 8 feet. 

The position is just right for your corn plants to grow and you get the benefit of cool shade throughout the summer season.

Filling Up Your Container

At this point, it’s critical to know that corn is insatiable when it comes to nutrients. 

The plant requires so much nutrient as nourishment it tends to absorb all the nutrients in the soil very quickly and the earth becomes devoid of nutrients. 

The soil must therefore be replenished to boost its strength so the type of nutrients that are injected back into the soil is very important.

Drainage is not as critical for corn plants grown in containers as the soil that you mix to place in your container to boost nutrient content. 

This is why it’s important for you to do it properly the first time and for the rest of the time you plants are growing. 

Corn needs trace nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus so you need to know the amount of these nutrients in the soil before you plant your corn.

How to Mix Your Nutrient Rich Compost

Most people who involve themselves in gardening know that a mixture of several soil boosting compost always include manure (preferably chicken manure), fresh cuttings of grass and fish emulsion. 

Can You Grow Corn In A Pot

When thoroughly mixed properly, it will even hold sandy soil together.

This is a fantastic way to boost the nutrients in your container and an added benefit due to availability and low cost of the ingredients.

All you need to do is apply about a gallon of the newly made compost.

Next, add to the soil already in the container and you are assured that your soil has all the nutrients your corn plants will need to grow well. 

Make sure that the mulch texture is thick enough to hold moisture and porous enough to let water drain through it and carry nutrients to roots further down inside the container.

Further Reading: Slow Release Fertilizers - NPK Fertilizers Series Part 1

Planting And Nurturing Your Corn

Let’s say you now have everything ready to start planting your corn. 

You should plant your seeds some 6” from each other along the perimeter of your container, about 3 or 4 inches away from the rim at a depth of about an inch deep. 

Water is essential for good growth so drench your seeds well with water at the start and sunlight will germinate… within 10 to 14 days but less, in warmer climates.

Keep The Soil Moisturized

The continued presence of water during the growing stage is critical because corn thrives in moist soil and you should ensure the soil in your container is always watered. 

Try to create good drainage for your plants to help them thrive and keep the water coming so that nutrients circulate freely inside the container and waste water is drained out of the container. 

The best routine for this is to water your plants every second day, but every day during hot dry seasons.

Growing your own corn at negligible cost should be a morale booster for your productive ego.. #prepping #prepper #containergardening

Click to Tweet

Harvesting the Cobs is Your Reward!

While yields are small given the limited space, harvesting corn that you grow yourself should give you a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. 

After succeeding with your first plants you might want to increase your corn space for your next planting. 

Growing your own corn at negligible cost should be a morale booster for your productive ego and you just may succeed in growing more corn next season. 

There’s great value and benefit for you when you prove that you can grow corn in a pot.

Related Questions

What are the main varieties of corn suited to container planting?

The short-stemmed or dwarf variety types grow much better in containers

What are the specific choices that people have in choosing these dwarf varieties?

The best choices now available are the ‘Trinity’ and ‘Sweet Painted Mountain’ strains. These varieties can grow to 4 or 5 feet in height.

What is the container size best suited for planting corn plants?

You should look out for a large container that has a width and depth of 12 inches, should have good drainage holes in the bottom part. 

Bigger containers may be needed depending on the number of people in the family.

Do Carrots Need Full Sun?

mushroom growing

Do Carrots Need Full Sun?

Do carrots need full sun is a question that many seem to ponder. 

Yes, they do because they are a winter crop, and they need as much sun as they can get.

Growing a few may seem difficult, but with just a little huff and puff, you can grow plenty for months of storage.

Continue reading

When Do I Put My Seedlings Under LIGHT?

When Do I Put My Seedlings Under LIGHT?

seeds

Adequate knowledge is needed for starting seeds indoors. The more you know or are able to apply to your gardening, the best your plants turn out at the end of the day. 

Like you, when I just started indoor seed starting, I also had a lot of questions to ask, like “when do I put my seedlings under light” or “how far my seeds should be from the LED”. Continue reading

How Long Are Vegetable Seeds Good For | Chart & Storage Guide

How Long Are Vegetable Seeds Good For | Chart & Storage Guide

seeds

Despite looking brittle and dry, vegetable seeds may, in fact, be very much alive and carrying the embryo of what will in the future grow to be a full-sized plant. 

Many vegetable seeds have the ability to stay viable for years. However, some, including onions seeds, deteriorate in less than a yearContinue reading

How Long Do Carrots Last | 7 Ways to Know & Make Them Last

How Long Do Carrots Last | Best Storage Tips

Carrots are so tasty when you grow them yourself or if they are fresh to the market.  You can take certain precautions when you store carrots in order for them to maintain their taste and nutritional value.

Even Bugs Bunny took care of his carrots to make them last longer, or maybe he just ate them quickly.

You will learn the shelf life of carrots, plus some tips on how to make carrots last longer.

how long do carrots last

The shelf life of carrots depends on the different storage methods that you follow.  Carrots that are freshly harvested will last for 3-5 weeks in the fridge. Cooked ones will last for approximately 3-5 days in the fridge.

Frozen carrots will last for 10-12 months in the freezer.

There is more to just placing carrots in your pantry. We will teach you the many different ways to extend how long potatoes last. Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is spoiled. Let’s delve into the 7 tips to save your potatoes from spoiling too early.

1- How Long Do Carrots Last at Room Temperature | Shelf Life of Carrots

Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  You should not leave carrots out at room temperature for too long. Carrots last approximately 2-4 days at room temperature before they will start to spoil. 

Carrots can quickly get spoiled, and at 12-24 hours may be enough to make them less tasty and lose its texture. 

2- How Long Do Carrots Last In The Fridge

Whole raw carrots can last for about 3-5 weeks in a refrigerator. Baby carrots last 1-2 weeks shorter than adult carrots – they are more delicate and have a weaker protective skin.

Refrigeration is the way to go if you are not after long-term storage of your carrots.

3- How Long Do Carrots Last In The Freezer

When frozen, carrots can last quite a long time – they will maintain excellent quality for 10-12 months if properly stored. After that, they may still stay safe to eat, but they will no longer be the same as when fresh.

Before freezing, carrots should be blanched. Carrots that haven’t been blanched before freezing remain safe to eat, but they will develop “off” textures, flavors, colors, and may lose their nutritional value.

Before freezing, carrots should be blanched. Carrots that haven’t been blanched before freezing remain safe to eat...Click To Tweet

4- How Long Do Carrots Last When Cooked

When properly stored, cooked carrots can last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Well, you shouldn’t expect much from cooked carrots – you’ve cooked them because you are ready to eat them, right?

Thus, if you want to keep carrots edible as long as possible, only cook them when you are intending to consume them.

5- How to Store Carrots the Right Way

how long do carrots lastProper storage is key if you want to ensure that your carrots stay edible for weeks and even months. There are many ways in which you can store carrots, but let’s overview two – one for regular refrigeration and another for maintaining that fresh crunchiness.

Refrigeration

Prepare the carrots for storage

First, remove the greens from the carrots as soon as possible – these will draw moisture away from the carrot. Allow the carrot’s outer skin to dry under the sun for a day or so. Do not wash the carrots before storage since the moisture could cause them to spoil earlier. Wash the carrots just before use.

Refrigerate the carrots

Put the carrots in a plastic bag and place the bag in the coolest part of your refrigerator, which probably is the vegetable drawer.

Some people think that lining the bottom of the vegetable drawer with a thick layer of absorbent kitchen paper allows you to maintain the freshness of the carrots for a longer time. This may be helping because the paper absorbs the moisture coming out of the carrots, thus protecting the food from spoilage.

Check on the carrots every once in a while

Check on the carrots one-two times per week. You need to ensure that the paper lining at the bottom of the vegetable shelf is dry. If the paper is damp, replace it.

The Water Bowl Method

This method is suitable for maintaining the freshness and crunchiness of carrots, but it doesn’t work in the long term. After 2-3 weeks, carrots stored in this way go slimy and lose flavor.

Here’s how to use the water bowl method:

  1. Put the carrots in a large bowl. Ensure that there is at least 1 inch of headroom between the carrots and the rim.
  2. Fill the bowl with clean, preferably filtered water.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or sealable lid.
  4. Place the bowl into the refrigerator.
  5. Change the water once a day.

6- How Do You Know When Carrots are Bad | Slimy Carrots & All

You don’t always get expiration dates when buying carrots, so it’s important to consume carrots as soon as possible. With that being said, you should be aware of some telltale signs of carrots going bad, which will be helpful when determining whether your carrots are edible after a long time of storage.

Below is a list of the signs shown by spoiled carrots. Look for them every once in a while since carrots can start to go bad at any moment, even if you think that they should not.

White blush

White blush appears on carrots due to dehydration. Examine the surface of the carrot – if you see tiny white dots all over it, then the carrot has developed white blush. Carrots with white blush are still safe to eat, but they won’t deliver the same taste as fresh carrots.

If you spot white blush on your carrots, consume them as soon as possible since they may become unsafe to eat very quickly.

Black spots

Black spots are caused by a fungus called Alternaria radicina. The growth of this pathogen is encouraged by high temperatures and moisture on the leaves.

Actually, black spots caused by Alternaria radicina aren’t really a sign of rotting – rather, they are a sign of infection. Nonetheless, if you see black spots on your carrots, you may want to avoid eating them, though some people think that cutting the black spots off makes carrots completely safe.

And really, consuming black spots caused by fungi shouldn’t cause any health problems in humans since the plant fungi have evolved to attack plant immune systems.   You may still want to stay on the safer side.

Slimy Carrots

If your carrots are slimy, mushy and soft, then they have started to rot. It’s not safe to eat carrots that have a mushy consistency – dispose of such carrots and avoid eating them since they could cause intoxication in you.

Rotten Smell

Needless to say, if the carrots smell rotten, then they definitely are no longer edible. If your carrots give off a rotten smell, then you probably haven’t kept a good eye on them and/or haven’t maintained proper storage conditions. Or maybe you’ve stored them for too long.

Check expiration date

If you’ve purchased carrots at a local store, then chances are that their packaging has the carrots’ expiration date printed on them. This will allow you to avoid any guesswork, but you should still occasionally check your carrots for signs of rotting – improper storage conditions can dramatically shorten their shelf life, and you want to spot mistakes as soon as possible.

how long do carrots last

7- How to Store Carrots Long Term

Long-term storage of carrots is possible with a few simple methods.  Sunlight, oxygen, moisture and elevated temperatures are the culprits when it comes to storing carrots long-term.

You want to minimize this through a few proven techniques.

Freezing Carrots

Freezing is very simple, effective & easy to do if you are looking for a long-term storage solution.

You can freeze carrots either cooked, blanched, or raw. The best method is blanching as it does preserve the flavor and texture best.

It is always best to use a freeze-safe airtight bag to minimize freezer burn or ice crystals from forming.

To blanch and freeze carrots, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly wash the carrots in cold water.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil
  3. Peel the carrots (optional)  and cut them in quarters or smaller pieces depending on what dish you want to prepare.
  4. Boil the carrots for 3-4 minutes
  5. Place the blanched carrots in cold water after removing them from the boiling water to stop the cooking process.
  6. Place the carrots in a sealable freezer container or bag after you dry the carrots.

Freshly Harvested Carrots

Carrots can also be covered in sand after you pick them from the ground.  You want to remove the green stems from the carrots, but keep them dry and uncleaned.

Place the carrots in some clean sand and leave in a cool spot that is preferable dark, and ventilated area like your basement.  Carrots stored this way will last for about 6 months.

Another option is to just leave them in the ground and cover them with mulch or leaves if the winter is approaching.  This should prevent them from freezing.

Storing Cooked Carrots

Cooked carrots need to be stored in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. The process is the same as outlined in the freezing section.

You may choose to refrigerate or freeze your carrots, but remember that when refrigerated, the cooked ones last much shorter than when frozen – 3-5 days versus 10-12 months.

Drying Carrots

You can dry or dehydrate your carrots if you don’t have enough space in your freezer or refrigerator.  To dry them, follow the steps below.

We are going to overview drying carrots in a food dehydrator:

  1. Clean the carrots and remove any dirt if freshly harvested.  It is best to cut any blemishes or imperfections from the carrots.
  2. Slice the carrots to about 1/8 inch thick.  This ensures they will dry in less time.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the carrots (see steps above in the Freezing Carrots section).
  4. Strain and dry off the carrots as best as possible.
  5. Lay the carrots in the dehydrator and dry at about 125 F for about 8-10 hours.

You can rehydrate the carrots by soaking them in water for 15 minutes & cook them as you would normally.

This method involves using vinegar to add flavor which helps to extend its shelf life.Click To Tweet

Pickling carrots

This method involves using vinegar to add flavor which helps to extend its shelf life.  Most pickling liquid also includes the usage of salt or sugar to help brine them.

The pickling recipes you may find to preserve carrots will help to make them last a little longer in the fridge.  Pickled carrots will last about 10-14 days in the fridge.

Canning Carrots

There are 2 methods of canning that we must differentiate.  There is the water bath canning and there is pressure cooking canning.  Carrots require the pressure cooking canning method.

Pressure cooking canning methods will ensure that the temperature it is processed or boiled in is well above the temperature to kill off any bacterial spores that can cause botulism.  The temperature in a pressure cooker is 250°F or more.

Water bath canning will never reach this temperature, so is not recommended to process carrots.  Botulism spores can actually survive normal boiling temperatures so are not quite killed off using this method.

The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  You can find this book here.

More Info

Keep in mind that the information that we provide here for carrots are based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.  Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.

This information provided is at your own risk.  Use your best judgment. We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.

The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:

Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
Refrigerator temperature of 35° - 40° F
Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.

Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.

Related Questions

  • How long do carrots last out of the fridge? - Carrots stored outside of the fridge last 2 days to 6 months depending upon storage methods.
  • Slimy Carrots - Are they ok to eat? - No, carrots that are slimy are not safe to eat
  • How long will cut carrots last in the fridge? - Carrots that are cut or have the skin removed such as baby carrots will last for approximately 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

Green Thumb Gardener

woodworking plans

How Long Do Potatoes Last | Tips to Maximize Shelf Life

How Long Do Potatoes Last | Tips to Maximize Shelf Life

survival kit

Potatoes are such a good crop that can last well into the winter should you take the proper precautions with storage.

They are very nutritious and easy to cook.

Its no wonder why Americans love their spuds.  Everything from french fries to baked potatoes.

You will learn the shelf life of potatoes, plus some tips on how to make potatoes last longer.


how long do potatoes last

The shelf life of potatoes depends on the different storage methods that you follow. 

Potatoes that are freshly harvested will last for 4 weeks in the fridge. Cooked ones will last for approximately 3-5 days in the fridge.

Frozen potatoes will last for 2-12 months in the freezer depending on your preparation techniques.

There is more to just placing potatoes in your pantry. We will explore the many different ways to extend how long potatoes last.

Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is spoiled.

Let’s delve into the 7 tips to save your potatoes from spoiling too early.

You can also find some tips about the shelf life of sweet potatoes as there is some difference.  Check it out here.

mushroom growing

1- How Long Do Potatoes Last at Room Temperature | Shelf Life of Potatoes

At room temperature – around 70 degrees Fahrenheit – potatoes can last for 1-2 weeks if properly stored.

Storing potatoes at room temperature is optimal since it’s more convenient than refrigeration.

Ideally, you should ensure a storage temperature of 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warmer than in a fridge but cooler than room temperature.

In a pantry with such temperatures, potatoes can last 2-3 months.

Some potato varieties last longer than others. In particular:

  1. Potatoes that take over 90 days to mature tend to last longer than varieties that mature quickly.
  2. Potatoes with thick skin usually last longer than potatoes with thin skin.

Among potato varieties that are best for long-term storage are:

  • Katahdin
  • Kennebec
  • Red Pontiac
  • Russet
  • Yellow Finn
  • Yukon Gold
In a pantry with such temperatures, potatoes can last 2-3 months.Click To Tweet

 

landscape design ideas

2- How Long Can You Keep Potatoes in the Fridge | Shelf Life of Potatoes in the Refrigerator

When refrigerated, potatoes can last for approximately 3-4 weeks.

However, storing whole raw potatoes in a refrigerator is not ideal since they can develop a sweet taste and get dark when cooked.

Only store raw potatoes in a refrigerator if your pantry space is filled or is too hot.

Cut raw potatoes shouldn’t be left in the refrigerator for too long – use them within 24 hours.

Well, if you are cutting potatoes, you probably are going to do something with them soon anyway.

3- Shelf Life of Potatoes in the Freezer | How Long do Potatoes Last in the Freezer

Potatoes don’t freeze well. At freezing temperatures, the water inside the potatoes forms crystals that break down the vegetable’s cell structures.

This makes potatoes mushy and inedible when defrosted. And yeah, the sweetening issues are still present with freezing.

It is ideal to cut them into french fries or wedges and fry them partially.  This helps to cook out the water content and makes for better freezing.

Generally, these partially cooked potatoes will last for 2-3 months in the freezer before they lose their flavor.

4- How Long do Potatoes Last When Cooked

When cooked, potatoes can be stored refrigerated or frozen.

When refrigerated, cooked potatoes last 3-5 days. In a freezer, you could get 10-12 months out of your cooked potatoes.

To be more precise, potatoes retain their best flavor during 10-12 months if frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

They will stay edible thereafter, but they may not retain their flavor properties.

seeds

5- How to Store Potatoes | Best Ways to Store Spuds

The shelf lifetimes mentioned above can be achieved only in proper storage conditions.

With that being said, let’s find out how to properly store potatoes.

We’ll go over storing both raw and cooked potatoes.

Raw potatoes

  1. Inspect your potatoes for sprouts, mold, pest damage, shovel damage, or soft spots.  Only potatoes free from any kind of damage should be stored for a long time. Potatoes damaged by you while harvesting is safe to eat, but they won’t last long in storage.
  2. Do not wash the potatoes before storage. Only wash them before use.
  3. Place the potatoes in a container, e.g. a paper bag, mesh bag, or a basket. No matter what kind of a container you choose, make sure that it has good ventilation for the vegetables. Avoid plastic bags since they don’t allow potatoes to breathe, thus shortening their shelf life.
  4. Choose a storage area that is cool (45-55 degrees Fahrenheit), humid, and away from sources of light. An unheated basement is perfect for potato storage. Pantries can also work well. In winter, store potatoes in an insulated area, e.g. a garage.

No matter where you store the potatoes, ensure that it satisfies the requirements we mentioned above.

Also, do not store raw potatoes in a freezer or refrigerator – we’ve said earlier that potatoes can get sweet if stored at low temperatures.

  1. Not all potatoes will go through storage well. You should check on your potatoes occasionally – maybe every other day – to see if there are any potatoes that have gone soft, shriveled, or sprouted. Remove such potatoes so that they don’t make healthy potatoes go bad.
  2. Make sure not to store your potatoes near other foods. This especially concerns onions – potatoes and onions emit gases that ripen each other, which will eventually lead to the spoilage of both.

how long do potatoes last

Storage Tips for Potatoes from the Garden

Storage rules for homegrown potatoes are a little bit different. Potatoes bought from the store have likely been properly processed.

Needless to say, when growing potatoes yourself, you need to take all steps to ensure that your potatoes are safe and edible yourself.

Curing

First, you need to let your potatoes cure. Cured potatoes have thicker skins and thus longer shelf life.

survival kit

Here’s how to cure potatoes:

  1. Pick only perfect potatoes for curing. As mentioned above, damaged potatoes don’t hold up well in the long term.
  2. Place your potatoes in a cool, humid, and dark area and let them sit there for 1-2 weeks. Don’t remove the dirt yet – it will be easier to do once the skin gets tougher.
  3. Check on your potatoes occasionally and discard those that have developed mold.
  4. Once 1-2 weeks have elapsed, again inspect the potatoes and discard those that have imperfections.

Preventing Sprouts

If you are growing your own potatoes, you will need to be a little more careful with storage.

Potatoes bought from the store are mostly sprayed with growth inhibitors that slow down sprouting. Unless you do the same, you will have to deal with sprouts.

Don’t store too many potatoes – you only want to store as many as you will be able to use during the storage period. Potatoes may sprout in a few months after being harvested even in storage.

Sprouted potatoes are safe to eat once you remove the sprouts and the eyes.

The potato will begin to shrivel as starch is converted to sugar to feed the new potato growing from the sprouts if you let them sit for a long time.

With that being said, you may use sprouted potatoes to your advantage by just planting them in your garden.

Cooked potatoes

Cooked potatoes should be stored in airtight containers.

Choose resealable plastic bags designed for food storage. Sealed plastic bags do not allow bacteria to grow or odors to form in potatoes.

Before storing cooked potatoes, make sure that they’ve cooled down. Hot potatoes may raise the temperature inside the fridge, which may place other food in the temperature danger zone.

As mentioned earlier, cooked potatoes last 3-5 days in the fridge and 10-12 months in the freezer.

6- How to Tell if Potatoes Have Gone Bad

Potatoes eventually go bad even if stored in perfect conditions. Fortunately, it’s rather easy to spot potatoes that have fallen victims to spoilage.

Among the telltale signs of spoiled potatoes are:

  1. Greenness - The green skin is a sign of a high concentration of toxins like solanine. After the removal of the skin, potatoes are generally safe to eat. But if the greenness has spread to the inside of the potatoes, then you should avoid eating them. Toxic potatoes will also have a bitter taste.
  2. Softness or mushiness. Soft and mushy potatoes have a reduced amount of nutrients and are likely spoiled.
  3. Mold - Potatoes that have developed mold should not be eaten and should be discarded to prevent healthy potatoes from spoiling.
  4. Deep cracks - If your potatoes have deep cracks, then they probably have gone through rough handling or storage. The deep cracks may allow microorganisms or fungi inside the potato, so avoid potatoes with deep cracks in the skin.

    Potatoes with shallow cracks that have occurred while growing should be safe to eat though.
  5. Sprouts - Sprouts form when the potatoes are stored for a long time and/or in high temperatures. As mentioned above, sprouted potatoes are safe to eat, but make sure to remove the sprouts and eyes before use. 

    You may want to change how you store your potatoes if your potatoes are sprouting unless you’ve specifically planned for them to sprout.
Freezing may be the way to go if you are looking for a long-term storage solution.Click To Tweet

7 - How to Store Potatoes Long Term

Freezing Potatoes

Freezing may be the way to go if you are looking for a long-term storage solution.

You can freeze potatoes either cooked or blanched, but it is more difficult to freeze them raw due to their high water content.

Storage in a freeze-safe airtight bag may help to make storing blanched ones easier.

Unless you have a very specific reason not to cook your potatoes before freezing, you should at least blanch them.

To cook and freeze potatoes, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly wash the potatoes in cold water.
  2. Decide between blanching, cooking or frying them (french fries).
  3. Peel them (if necessary)  and cut them in quarters or smaller pieces depending on what dish you want to prepare
  4. You can partially blanch or fry them to kill off any enzymes and shorten the final cooking period.
  5. Place the cooked or blanched potatoes in sealable containers after you let any water or oil drain off.
  6. Place the container into the freezer.

uncle jim worms

Storing Cooked Potatoes

Cooked potatoes need to be stored in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. The process is the same as outlined in the freezing section.

You may choose to refrigerate or freeze your potatoes, but remember that when refrigerated, the cooked ones last much shorter than when frozen – 3-5 days versus 10-12 months.

how long do potatoes last

Drying Potatoes

You can opt for drying your potatoes if you don’t have enough space in your freezer refrigerator.

To dry them, follow the steps below.

We are going to overview drying potatoes in a food dehydrator:

  1. Clean and scrub each potato.  It is best to cut any blemishes or imperfections off of the potatoes.
  2. Slice the potatoes in a somewhat thin size.  Think of a potato chip but slightly larger thickness around 1/8 inch thick. This ensures they will dry in less time.
  3. Ensure that your potatoes are placed in a bowl of cold water as soon as you cut them to prevent oxidation or browning.
  4. You will now blanch the potatoes in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes to kill off any enzymes (this is what turns it brown).  You want them to still hold together but not crumble.
  5. Strain and dry off the potatoes as best as possible.
  6. Lay potatoes in the dehydrator and dry at about 135 F-140 F for about 8-10 hours.

You can rehydrate the potatoes by soaking them in water for 15 minutes & cook them as you would normally.

Pickling Potatoes for Your Potato Salad

This method involves utilizing an acidic liquid like vinegar to add flavor and possibly help extend its shelf life.  Most pickling liquid also includes the usage of salt or sugar to help to brine them.

The pickling recipes you may find to preserve potatoes will help to make them last a little longer in the fridge.

Pickled potatoes will last about 7-10 days in the fridge.

Canning Potatoes

There are 2 methods of canning that we must differentiate.  There is the water bath canning and there is pressure cooking canning.  Potatoes require the pressure cooking canning method.

Pressure cooking canning methods will ensure that the temperature it is processed or boiled in is well above the temperature to kill off any bacterial spores that can cause botulism.  The temperature in a pressure cooker is 250°F or more.

Water bath canning will never reach this temperature, so is not recommended to process potatoes.  Botulism spores can actually survive normal boiling temperatures so are not quite killed off using this method.

The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  You can find this book here.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

More Info

Keep in mind that the information that we provide here is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.

Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.

This information provided is at your own risk.  Use your best judgment. We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.

The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:

Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
Refrigerator temperature of 35° - 40° F
Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.

Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.

Related Questions

  • How long do mashed potatoes last in the fridge?  Mashed potatoes stored in the fridge will last approximately 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
  • How long does potato salad last? Potato salad lasts approximately 4-6 days if it is properly stored in the fridge.
  • How long do sweet potatoes last? Sweet potatoes will last approximately 3-5 weeks in a cool pantry and 2-3 months in the fridge.

Green Thumb Gardener

uncle jim worms

How Long Do Mushrooms Last | 7 Tips to Keep them Fresh

mushroom growing

How Long Do Mushrooms Last | 7 Tips to Keep them Fresh

how long do mushrooms lastMushrooms are a delicious vegetable that does not last forever in storage.  Unfortunately, mother nature did not put a best by date, sell-by date, or use by date stamped on the tasty buttons & she is not going to tell you just how long do mushrooms last.

You will learn about the shelf life of mushrooms, plus some tips on how to make them last longer.Continue reading

Why Grow Zucchini In a 5-Gallon Bucket?

landscape design ideas

Why Grow Zucchini In a 5-Gallon Bucket?

Why Grow Zucchini In a 5 Gallon BucketContainer gardening is quite popular in households with limited space, but even those who don’t have space concerns are sometimes switching from the ground to buckets. And one particularly popular plant for container growing is zucchini.

Our green thumb was developed was born gardening with 5-gallon buckets.  There was an abundance of free ones that we salvaged from local restaurants & businesses to recycle.  We feel 5-gallon buckets are inexpensive and easy to find a container that anyone should use to garden.

Today, we are going to talk about growing zucchini in a 5-gallon bucket. Below, you will find out why to make the switch to container gardening, what are its negatives, and how to grow zucchini in 5-gallon buckets!

Reasons to Grow Zucchini in a 5-gallon Bucket?

Let’s start with the rationale behind wanting to grow zucchini in a 5-gallon bucket or any other plant or container for that matter.  It takes some effort to plant and grow zucchini in a bucket, so you need to be sure that doing it will benefit you in the long run.

Growing zucchini in 5-gallon buckets may be just for you if you are seeking one or more of the benefits below AND if they outweigh the downsides.

Space efficiency

Perhaps the biggest benefit and the first reason for anyone to try and grow zucchini in a 5-gallon bucket is its space efficiency.

You don’t need to have a vast garden territory for container gardening. Furthermore, you may place that container anywhere where there is enough space.

Just make sure that the spot also has proper conditions for zucchini growing.

Mobility

5-gallon buckets are very easy to move around, which also is a benefit favored by many people.

This could come in handy when, for example, you discover that the current spot doesn’t allow the required amount of sunlight to reach the pot. 

Not only that, but the mobility of a bucket allows you to easily choose a proper spot from the aesthetic point of view.

Speaking of aesthetics, many gardeners also like that container gardening allows a bit more flexibility than regular gardening.Click To Tweet

Creative potential

Speaking of aesthetics, many gardeners also like that container gardening allows a bit more flexibility than regular gardening.

First, you have the pot which you can decorate by your taste. This won’t make the plant grow better, but it will give freedom to your creativity.

Secondly, you are free when it comes to choosing containers – while we are speaking of buckets, you are free to switch to any other container style that seems more good-looking for you.

Finally, you have freedom in terms of the layout of your containers. As mentioned above, this could allow you to create quite a spectacle of a container garden in your backyard.

Why Grow Zucchini In a 5 Gallon BucketThings to keep in mind with container gardening

The benefits of growing zucchini in 5-gallon buckets sure are appealing, but there are a few downsides that you should be mindful of as well.

Frequent watering

Buckets and, generally, any other containers do not retain water well, which means that you will have to water the zucchini more frequently. This is an even bigger problem in hot, windy, or dry conditions.

Zucchini planted in the ground may be able to feed on the water located in the depths of the soil. With a container, the plant will have as much water as you’ve provided it with.

Plants planted in the ground will also be sensitive to weather conditions, but you won’t need to water them as frequently. 

And in warmer weather, you may need to water your container zucchini at least twice a day to keep it hydrated!

Fertilizer needs

In a container, zucchini will have only so much soil to draw nutrients from. Due to this, keeping the nutrients in the container at a proper level becomes a big concern with container gardening. 

Even with the best growing medium, the zucchini will sooner or later run out of nutrients. Additional fertilization will be required, much more so than with regular gardening.

Soil needs

An empty bucket doesn’t have any soil, so you will need to buy it. Furthermore, you can’t use garden soil in a container since it can compact and strangle the roots of the plant.

The difficulty here is that there are many soil manufacturers out there offering a variety of soil types. And while we’ll give some general recommendations for zucchini growing below, you will need to spend some time researching the proper type of soil for zucchini.

Space limitations

Your zucchini won’t be able to expand in the bucket indefinitely. As the zucchini grows, it will require bigger and bigger containers. Due to this, you will probably be able to use a 5-gallon bucket just at the initial stages of zucchini growing.

Why Grow Zucchini In a 5 Gallon BucketHow to grow zucchini in 5-gallon buckets

Now, let’s have a look at the step-by-step process of growing zucchini in 5-gallon buckets. The instructions also apply to some extent to bigger containers.

  1. Plan the zucchini planting for April when the temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Acquire 5-gallon buckets. Some people think that 5 gallons are the absolute minimum of container size for zucchini. If you are borrowing buckets from someone, make sure that they haven’t been used to store toxic chemicals or materials.
  3. Pick a compact zucchini like Geode, Eight Ball, Raven, or Jackpot hybrid. These will be more space-efficient and easier to grow.
  4. Make drain holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage. You may use a drill or a nail & hammer for this. For a 5-gallon bucket, one hole every 3 inches should be enough.
  5. Acquire potting soil containing a mix of ingredients like peat, compost, fine bark, and either perlite or vermiculite. Avoid regular garden soil.
  6. Fill the bucket with the mixture. Water it to settle the soil.
  7. Determine whether your zucchini variety needs stacking. If it does, then you will need some support, for example, a tomato cage.
  8. Place the bucket in a spot where it will receive sunlight all day.
  9. Plant 5-6 zucchini seeds in the middle. Cover the seeds with one and a half-inch of soil.
  10. Water the soil after planting. After that, you’ll need to add as much water as necessary to keep the soil hydrated. Don’t allow the soil to dry completely or to get soggy.
  11. Fertilize the soil throughout the summer. Add the fertilizer in the ratio recommended by its manufacturer. Water the soil before fertilizing.
  12. As soon as the seeds germinate, cut smaller seedlings, leaving the two largest seedlings. Use sterile scissors to remove the weak seedlings.
  13. When the seedlings reach 8-10 inches, cut the weakest one. Now, you will have one large seedling.
  14. Harvest the fruits when they get around 6 inches long. It may take 45-60 days for zucchinis to grow this much, depending on the variety.
...a great way to grow squash in a container and also keep containers out of our landfills.Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts on Growing Zucchini in 5-gallon Buckets

Growing zucchini in a 5-gallon bucket is easy to do and a worthwhile container gardening hobby.  It is a great way to grow squash in a container and also keep containers out of our landfills.

You can grow almost any vegetable in a 5-gallon container if you plan for it correctly and don’t mind watering it more frequently.  5-gallon buckets are more ideal for smaller plants, but still produce a good harvest even for larger plants give the right care.

You can learn some more tips for growing squash like a boss here.

More Info

    • What are the best vegetables to grow in 5-gallon buckets? Some other vegetables that you can grow in 5-gallon buckets include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and many herbs
    • Is it safe to grow vegetables in 5-gallon buckets? Yes, it is safe as long as you use food-safe buckets.  These containers will have safer plastics that will tend not to leech into the soil in normal conditions.

Green Thumb Gardener

uncle jim worms