Storing Your Vegetables

The first rule of storing vegetables is only ever store undamaged ones. There's a reason for the old cliché that one rotten apple spoils the barrel! Clean off any dirt and make sure the vegetables are dry, then follow these storing tips.

Not for storing

Some vegetables cannot really be stored successfully.
This applies to artichokes, chicory, cucumbers, endive, lettuces, radishes, salad leaves and tomatoes.

Head for the Freezer

Some vegetables are best eaten fresh, but can be frozen successfully if you have a glut. 

This applies to asparagus, aubergines, broad beans, broccoli, cabbages, courgettes, french beans, kale, peas, peppers, runner beans, spinach, sweetcorn, swiss chard
[link names to individual freezing pages]

Of course, you can freeze other vegetables too.

Brussels sprouts

They will keep on the stalks in a cool place or in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but otherwise, they are best frozen.


  • Hang complete cauliflower plants upside down in a cool place for up to three weeks.

  • Otherwise, they are best frozen.


  • Wrap in foil and store in the salad drawer of the fridge for at least a month.

  • You can also freeze celery. 

Garlic, onions and shallots 

  • Brush off any mud, trim the roots and stems to about 2.5cm/1in and spread out to dry for a few days in the sun.

  • Store in string or net bags in a cool place.

  • You can use an old pair of tights to make onion legs! Cut off the legs and drop an onion into toe. Tie above the onion, or use an elastic band, then drop in and tie more onions until you reach the top. Then you can simply cut off the onions one at a time.


  • Leeks can remain in the ground and be taken up when you need them.


  • Leave in the sun for a few hours to dry, then brush off the earth.

  • Pack in hessian sacks.

  • Store away from light at 5-10ºC and try to avoid allowing them to go below this temperature.

  • Check occasionally for slugs or other damage.

  • If any potatoes go green, discard them or cut away affected parts as they are poisonous.


  • Use summer radishes straight from the plant.

  • Winter radishes can b e left in the ground until needed.

Root vegetables 

  • Remove the foliage a few centimetres from the vegetable.

  • Pack in moist peat in wooden boxes - you can usually get banana boxes from your supermarket.

  • Store in a dry place at 0-5ºC.

  • This applies to beetroot, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, parsnips, turnips and swedes.

Squashes, pumpkins and marrows 

  • Cut the ripe vegetables from the plant leaving a piece of stalk, then leave to dry in the sun or in a warm shed or greenhouse for about a week until they sound hollow when tapped. Protect from frost.

  • Wipe off any earth.

  • Store at about 10°C/50°F in a dry place, without the vegetables being allowed to touch each other. Pumpkins and marrows will only keep to midwinter but squashes may keep until early spring if they are dry and not too cold.