Apple Picking and Storage


John Keats the 19th century poet described autumn as a "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness", this article looks at one of the autumn fruits, the apple.
The apple tree we grow today is a member of the rose family; the rose produces rose hips, which are very similar to the apples we harvest. Apple harvesting happens any time between the end of August and the end of October, with picking occurring over a week or two, all depending on the variety of apple tree grown.

When is an apple ripe?

Well, if an apple on the tree comes free with a slight twist its usually ripe, those requiring pulling from the tree are unripe and to pull those will damage the fruit-forming spur for the following season. In addition, fruit picked and stored too early will usually shrivel and lose their flavour, so resist picking too early (advice Eve should have followed).

Storage time for ripe apples varies from 3 weeks to 4 months depending on the variety but you can expect a longer storage time if you adhere to the following tips...

The storage area should be cool (2-4 degrees centigrade), dark and away from strong flavours or scents.

Place individual layers of apples in slatted boxes, surrounding each individual fruit with paper or hay, two more layers of apples are allowed to follow provided you ensure that buffer of paper or hay.

Never try to store bruised or insect damaged apples as like the old saying tells us "One bad apple can spoil the whole barrel"

View further information on this topic in the Irish gardeners forum >>>>

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