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Thread: A note on picking apples for storage

  1. #1
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Ross-on-Wye
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    Default A note on picking apples for storage

    First some disclaimers :-
    1) If you only have early or mid-season apples don't bother reading any further - your fruit will have been eaten or whatever by now. (late October)
    2) If you have a small crop of later apples, say under 30lbs put them in bags or a box and use them as seems sensible. - no point in faffing about
    3) other apples such as cider varieties, crab apples etc are dealt with differently.

    That out of the way, I admit that what follows can be some work, but if you have paid for trees, looked after them and grown a good crop its a pity to mess up at the picking stage, since if you do a lot of what you have done already will be wasted.

    Storage :-
    ideally you want a place which is frost free but cool and not too dry, which can be made rodent proof - a cellar or cave is ideal - places like a bedroom or a garage roof space are often rather too warm and too dry - I built myself a small, partially below ground, block lean-to with an insulted roof on the North side of my cottage.

    Picking :-
    Choose a dry cool day if possible. Lift the fruit up and away from the branch with a small twist - it should part from the spur fairly easily, with an intact stalk - if it doesn't then its probably not ripe enough. Some apples with short spurs like Bramley especially if they are in pairs need to be twisted - one one way, one the other. Place the fruit gently in to whatever container you are picking in to - a box with a towel inside for example. Leaving the picked apples out over night is a simple away of cooling them down, providing your local animals don't take advantage.

    Sorting:-
    Only choose perfect fruit for keeping ie anything with a peck mark, bruise, broken stalk etc should be put for use asap. Wooden trays with a single layer of apples are good ( I made some out of off-cuts to fit the space I have for them). Cardboard boxes are OK, I usually put a few sheets of newspaper between each layer of apples.

    Inspecting:-
    Keep a bit of an eye on things weekly, as one rotten apple can spoil the barrel. If you think the fruit is on the edge of being ripe then bring a few in to the house and see how they go. Some varieties like say Ashmead change their base colour from green to pale yellow as they ripen in storage. There's no substitute for knowing your own varieties and when they are best to eat. If in doubt try one, because they deteriorate quickly through becoming over ripe.

    Finally any apple can be cooked, and storing pulp is an easy way to go, if you have space in the freezer.

    Happy gardening :-)

    PS be careful if using a ladder - personally I don't often use one, as I find I bounce less happily these days.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Nottingham
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    626

    Default

    Another way of storing limited quantities is dehydrating. I slice up eaters and dehydrate them (it takes about eight hours in my dehydrator) they end up crisp (rather than soggy) and a great with cereal. They keep a few months.

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