Watermelons contain vitamins A, C, E, group B, as well as magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and sodium. The end of summer and early fall is the time when these berries can be purchased at the market or in any supermarket for a good price. In winter, however, it is quite difficult to find the fruit. However, there are several ways in which they can be preserved until winter.
Which watermelon to choose
For watermelon to last as long as possible, it is important to choose the “right” fruit. Berries weighing about 5 – 6 kilograms are stored better: they do not have a lot of water, and inside there are no cavities with air – in such conditions bacteria will not multiply.
It is better to choose thick-skinned varieties: the thicker the shell, the better the natural protection of the fruit. Another important criterion is that the watermelon should not have any dents, cracks or punctures.
Where and how to store
Even the best watermelon will be lost if the necessary storage conditions are not observed. First, the berry should not be in contact with light and heat. It can be put away in the bathroom. The only thing is that while taking a bath, it is better to take the fruit out, so that it is not heated from the steam. The second option is a balcony. In this case, you need to make sure that the temperature in the room does not drop below five degrees. When it starts to get colder, the berry can be covered with a blanket.
Secondly, the watermelon should not get damaged. It often happens that the side of the fruit is squeezed under its own weight. To prevent this from happening, you should put something soft under it. This can be a straw, a cloth, a bag or a blanket.
The third criterion is humidity. Watermelon should be periodically sprayed with a sprayer. To prevent it from rotting and getting sick, the remaining moisture should be wiped off with a towel after an hour. These are the basic rules of storage, but there are more radical methods.
Method 1: preservation with paraffin
In order to preserve the watermelon for several months, you can pour it in paraffin – this will strengthen and disinfect the surface of the fruit. It is best to use natural wax or a mixture of wax and paraffin. Before the procedure, the watermelon should be washed and dried, and the wax should be melted in a water bath. It should be applied to the fruit a little cooled, so as not to damage the crust with high temperature. Then it is necessary to let the composition dry and apply in this way two more layers.
Method 2: treatment with clay
Here the algorithm of actions is almost the same as in the previous method. You can take any clay: red, white, blue. It should be diluted to a paste-like state, and then apply it to the watermelon. It is better to do it in two passes – first treat one half, and after drying – the second half. For reliability, you can do two layers. It is best to store such watermelon on a crumpled paper or in a straw, periodically turning the fruit.
Method 3: in the straw
On the network, you can find many tips for storing watermelons. Someone suggests putting them in boxes with hay. The important point is exactly how the berry lies. The watermelon has the thickest rind in the areas of the tail and spout – put the fruit on these places, not on the side. To be safe, every few days you should turn the watermelon from spout to tail and vice versa. Also, the berries should be evenly covered with straw not only at the bottom, but also at the top, so that the temperature and humidity were the same over the entire area.
Method 4: In sand or grain
Sand and grains conduct air well and maintain an even temperature and moisture level. The watermelon should be in a bucket and be completely covered with them. Once a week it should be turned over. Those who have a floor at home is covered with carpets, this method is not suitable, since during the transfer of the fruit the contents of the container usually spills out.
Method 5: in water
Many people advise storing watermelon in water. It should be cool and completely cover the fruit. The liquid should be changed once a month or more often. You do not need to make any more effort.
Method 6: hanging
Hanging is the most common storage option. For this, the watermelon should be put in a carrier and suspended in such a way that it does not touch anything by the sides. Periodically, the berry should be turned over.