November, and right throughout the winter for as long as they last, look,
from time to time, at your crops in store to make sure they are keeping in
good condition. First, the things you can easily get at—the shallots and
onions. You may find that some of your shallots have gone soft or have
started growing again. This may be due either to faulty drying or to bad
storage condition: the atmosphere may be too moist or hot. Look at every
bulb, removing any that have gone bad. Use first those that have begun to
grow. Put the rest away in a cool, dry place protected from the frost.
If for similar reasons some of your onions are starting to sprout,
they need not be considered a total loss, for they will at least provide a
useful supply of fresh green tops, if handled in the right way. If you've
got a greenhouse or frame, you could set the "sprouters" in a box of dry
sand or ashes and encourage them to grow on. Or they will grow on the window
don't forget to use first you bull-necked onions or those that weren't
Your tomatoes in store may also be a bit of trouble. They may be
ripening too fast or not ripening at all. Or some may have gone rotten
through being stored with split skins. Those that are ripening too quickly
can be held back a bit by putting them in a cooler place (but not below 50°F).
The backward fruits could be put for a time on the window-sill or into a
warm, airy cupboard.
Your parsnips will be all right left in the ground until early
March, when you can lift those that remain and store them by burying in soil
or sand in a shed or outhouse, to check them from starting into growth
again. But have a look at your beet, carrots and turnips in store and take
out any showing signs of rot. Small lots of potatoes in sacks or boxes
should also be "vetted"' those in clamp or pie are more difficult to inspect
and must run some risk, though if you examine them well before clamping—and
built the clamp properly—you can afford to rest content. Never open up a
clamp in frosty weather.