Monty Don explains how to plant early salad leaves
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Your salad vegetables might typically find their home in the fridge. However, according to science, some of these fruits and vegetables are actually better suited to a mild environment. In fact, keeping the likes of cucumbers, tomatoes and onions out of your fridge could help to increase their life span.
Keep cucumbers in the cupboard
According to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, if cucumbers are stored below 10C for more than three days, they can get “cold injury”.
The symptoms of this include wateriness, pitting and even faster decay.
Instead, cucumbers need a shaded, cool environment away from direct sunlight.
Based on this theory, it is better to keep cucumbers in the cupboard, rather than the vegetable crisper in your fridge.
According to experts from Food52, cucumbers should not be stored near fruits such as avocados, tomatoes or melons.
This is because such fruits give off ethylene gas as they ripen.
They explained: “The cucumbers are more likely to yellow quickly due to the exposure of ethylene gas.
“Although not harmful, ethylene is a gas that is released from fruits and vegetables that causes produce to ripen more quickly.”
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Keep tomatoes at room temperature
Tomatoes are another salad fruit which should be stored at room temperature, according to experts.
Experts from The Neff Kitchen say refrigeration can “affect the taste, texture and aroma of your tomatoes”.
Taste of Home explains that these red fruits prefer to be kept in a cool, dark place, out of the sunlight.
Warm rays coming in through your window will only act to speed up the ripening process.
However, tomatoes stored in the fridge are likely to last up to one week longer than those kept in the cupboard.
Keep onions in the cupboard
According to the National Onion Association (NOA), onions are best stored in a cool, dry, dark and well-ventilated room, such as a pantry, cellar, basement or garage.
Healthline explained: “This is because they easily absorb moisture.
“If temperatures or humidity are too high, they may start to sprout or rot.”
Onions can last up to two months when stored in a cupboard or at cool room temperature.
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