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If handled carefully and placed in the right environment, fruit from your garden may be stored for several weeks, or even months. So, with a little planning, you could be eating your own apples at Christmas.
Many cultivars of the following can be stored: apples, pears, quince and medlar.
Late ripening cultivars usually store for longer than early season ones. For example, fruit that stores well includes:
Dessert apples: ‘Jonagold’ and ‘Winston’Culinary apples: ‘Bramley’s Seeding’ and ‘Lane’s Prince Albert’Dessert pears: ‘Conference’ and ‘Doyenné de Comicé’Culinary pear: ‘Catillac’
Fruit can be stored from late autumn to late winter. As a general rule:
A suitable storage place might include a garage, shed or cellar, provided that it is:
Check stored fruit regularly:
Extra measures such as wrapping apples individually in newspaper or tissue paper can help them keep longer but will be a hindrance to regular inspection.
If no suitable storage conditions are available, small quantities of apples can be put in plastic bags in the fridge to store for a few weeks. Fill a bag with 2-3kg (4lb 6oz - 6lb 10oz) of fruit, pierce several holes in it and fold the top loosely to allow air circulation.
Storing some pears loose in the salad compartment of the fridge can help to delay ripening until after those in store have been used.
Harvesting and storing garden fruit by Raymond Bush (Faber and Faber 1947, ISBN 54053000473672). This book is also made available through the RHS Lindley Library.
Fruit in storage is prone to rotting. Fungal diseases usually attack blemished fruit and are encouraged by poor ventilation. Common rots include brown rot and grey mould. Clean storage areas and containers thoroughly each year to help reduce the risk of brown rot.
Discolouration is not always caused by rots; some disorders appear in storage too;
Controls of rodents such as rats or mice and voles will also be necessary.
ApplesBrown rotFruit: harvesting Mice and volesPearsProtecting fruit from frostRatsRHS video: apple storageRoot vegetables: storing
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