Store apples and pears

Not all varieties of apples and pears can be stored for long periods without deteriorating. In general, all eating apples that are ready for picking before mid September should be eaten fresh. Late-maturing varieties of apples and pears, on the other hand, can be enjoyed right through the winter if they are stored in the right way.

  • Pick the fruit just under ripe with the stalk still in tact.
  • Choose perfect, medium-sized fruits for long-term storage. Eat any that are damaged and any very large fruits because they are prone to storage rots. Small fruit are more likely to shrivel in storage.
  • Keep different varieties separate because they tend to ripen at different rates.
  • Use the moulded paper or polystyrene trays - used by professional growers to pack their fruit ? to hold the fruit. Varieties prone to shrivelling, such as ?Cox?s Orange Pippin?, are better stored in clear polythene bags punctured with several large holes for ventilation.
  • Pack trays in ventilated cardboard boxes.
  • Store somewhere frost-free but cool, dark and slightly damp such as a garage or cellar.
  • Check all stored fruit weekly and consume any that show signs of deteriorations.

Skill rating

moderate