Apples - How to Store

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Only store perfect looking apples that you picked from the tree. Any damaged or windfall fruit should be juiced, cooked, made into jam or just eaten right away.

Store apples in a cold but frost free place. A little humidity in the air is beneficial, but there should also be decent ventilation. Garages, most cellars, outhouses and shed are all ideal. Lofts tend to get too warm, but they can work in some houses.

If you have room, space the apples out so that they aren't touching each other. If you need to pack them in closely, you will have to wrap each one in paper to reduce the chances of rot spreading from one bad apple to your whole crop.

Avoid stacking the apples if possible. If you have to do it, only stack one layer high and place a sheet of thin cardboard between the two layers to spread out the weight.
Tip: The moulded papier-maché trays you see in green grocers and supermarkets are ideal for storing apples.

Storing apples starts with picking them the right way, which is carefully! Part of the secret of storing apples successfully is judging when to pick them; practice makes perfect.

A cropping apple tree usually needs to be picked over several times. Fruit on the sunny side of the apple tree will ripen before the ones on the shady side and apples on the outer branches will ripen before the ones on inner or lower branches. Pick apples with the best colour and only pick them when they are ripe.

A ripe apple comes off the tree when it is lifted and twisted about a quarter of a turn - do not pull apples off. The apple should detach with the stalk. Take care not to bruise the fruit and use a padded or soft cloth container to carry them down from the tree.

Which Apples Varieties are Good for Storage?
As a general rule, early cropping apples that are ready in August & September do not store well. Later cropping apples mostly store well and a number of late-cropping varieties only taste their best after a few weeks of ripening off the branch.

Some of the best apples for storage are: Ashmeads Kernel, Blenheim Orange, Bramley, Cox's Orange Pippin, Howgate Wonder, Kidd's Orange Red, Lanes Prince Albert, Pixie, Egremont Russet (in fact, pretty much all russet apples are good for storing) & Winter Gem.

Each variety ripens at its own rate, so store them separately and label them so you remember which is which. Check them regularly for rot.

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