How to keep apples fresh in the cellar for a long time?
All gardeners who come up with various methods want to preserve the harvest. Apples can be kept for a long time in a cool, dry or slightly damp place, for example, in a cellar - separately equipped or under the house. How to store apples in the cellar for a long time is discussed in this article.
Varieties with the highest stubbornness
Varieties of apple trees are divided by ripening time into summer, autumn and winter. In accordance with the ripening period, these fruits differ in storage duration. If summer apples retain their qualities for a couple of weeks, and autumn apples for up to two months, then the fruits of late winter varieties in the basement can "survive" until next summer.
Modern industrial breeding has bred many varieties that can mature throughout the winter and even spring in storages and cellars adapted for this. The following well-known varieties are distinguished by the greatest retention: Golden, Idared, Red chief, Ligol, Champion, Simirenko, Freshness, Anis new, and other early winter and winter varieties.
Rules for the collection of apples and their preparation for storage
In addition to good winter hardiness and durability of the variety, the conditions for its collection and preparatory procedures before laying it for storage are very important.
Important! You do not need to wash or rub apples before storage - this erases the natural wax layer, which protects the fruits from diseases and environmental influences.
The collection is as follows:
- the fruit is removed from the stem without damaging the surrounding pulp (twisting or tearing the apple is unacceptable);
- for harvesting, you can use special devices that allow you to remove the fruit without climbing on the stepladder;
- apples are carefully inspected and moved to processing or long-term storage;
- The specimens selected for storage are neatly stacked with the stems up in the storage containers.
If purchased apples are selected for storage, it is best to purchase them from a reputable supplier. Products from the supermarket are not suitable for long-term storage - their delivery does not provide normal conditions of detention, and the fruits are damaged.
Optimal conditions for long-term storage
Winter varieties are able to withstand temperatures of about 0 ° C for a long time, so you should start worrying about freezing them if the temperature in the fruit storage drops to minus. Low humidity without loss of moisture and good ventilation are excellent concomitant factors for long-term storage of the crop.
It is not always possible to provide ventilation and proper temperature in the cellar. Modern technology is able to create the necessary conditions - a high-quality range hood and heating appliances during severe frosts can provide the right climate for storage.
Ways to prepare a cellar for laying apples for the winter
The room of the cellar before laying the harvest in it must be prepared using the following operations:
- ventilate and dry;
- spray the walls with a disinfectant solution - copper sulfate or potassium permanganate will do;
- to whitewash the walls with lime, well closing up possible cracks in the plaster or clay;
- sprinkle the floor with dropouts or gravel;
- place racks or places for installing boxes at a certain distance from the walls.
Video: how to store apples in the basement
How to choose the right container for storage?
Each gardener chooses independently what and how to preserve his crop. Good preservation is provided by boxes made of neutral durable materials. Suitable plastic, wooden, plywood or boxes of cardboard.Ordinary cardboard boxes get soaked and fall apart even with a little moisture in the cellar. On racks with wooden flooring, fruits can be placed without any packaging materials.
Methods and places for storing apples in the cellar
The safety of the crop in the cellar can be achieved using many methods and materials. You can lay in bulk in the shoulders; neat laying out on shelves; folding in bags, sacks, boxes; falling asleep and wrapping in paper. All these methods have their advantages and help the fruits survive the winter.
Important! Sweet and large apples during storage are able to secrete ethylene, which accelerates the ripening of fruits. At the same time, not only apples, but also other vegetables and fruits that are stored nearby can ripen ahead of time.
The farther from the floor, the warmer and drier the air, which allows you to create the right conditions for fruit in the cellar. Racks will provide good safety even without any containers. But it’s better, nevertheless, to put apples in boxes, where they will survive the winter perfectly and maintain or even improve their taste.
Shelves can be retractable, where you can divide the fruit by grades and shelf life. Ordinary shelves made on floor frames or simply walled into walls are also popular. Here you can arrange the fruits in bulk, or you can arrange boxes with them.
When arranging the fruit in the boxes, one must take into account the possibility of damage to the fruit, which then can ruin a considerable part of the crop.
You need to follow the simple rules for packing them in containers:
- whole apples are picked without damage;
- the fruits are stacked in boxes in a checkerboard pattern so that the stalks of the lower row do not rest against the next row;
- the walls of the boxes must be loose - with slots for ventilation;
- paper towels or old newspapers can be laid at the bottom of the container;
- shelves and boxes can be signed in order to know which varieties must be eaten earlier and which last longer.
Did you know? High humidity inside the plastic bag does not harm the fruit and does not lead to their decay. Under such conditions, apples produce more carbon dioxide, which, in turn, reduces the intensity of respiration and oxygen consumption. Therefore, in bags, fruits can be stored for slightly longer.
In plastic bags and bags
You can save the fruits in plastic bags or cloth bags. This method is designed for small batches of goods, which are sorted and packaged in packages of 1-2 kg. Further, these packages are laid out on shelves or floors in the cellar and are regularly checked with the rejection of fruits that began to deteriorate.
How to store apples in the ground or sand?
Several tens of kilograms of the crop can be kept in crates or piles, covered with earth or sand. The complexity of this method pays for the excellent preservation of the fruit.
The way to save this is as follows:
- soil or sand is spilled with a disinfectant solution and calcined in the oven;
- crates or planks of piles are washed and sprayed with a potassium permanganate solution or soapy water;
- up to 10 cm of prepared soil is poured into the bottom;
- dry and healthy apples are laid on the ground in an arbitrary order without touching each other;
- a new layer of soil is poured on top and the following fruits are laid.
Did you know? Apples, for all their sweetness, can be used even for people with diabetes. They contain only fructose, which does not affect blood sugar.
The most valuable fruits can be individually wrapped in food paper or roll napkins. In this case, a lot of time is needed for the preparation and conduct of work. However, such a concern is worth it - large and high-quality apples will not experience excess moisture and will be well preserved.
Each fruit wrapped in paper is placed in a box or on a rack.If moisture drops form on the ceiling of the cellar, then you need to hang a film over the vault, on which condensate will drain.
Shelf life of apples in the basement
Proper care can ensure the safety of the fruit even before the next harvest. However, the optimal time for winter varieties is 4–7 months, during which they only gain taste. Autumn apples can be stored for 2-3 months, constantly checking their weight and removing spoiled ones. Summer fruits spoil very quickly and are immediately used as food to bring down the oska before ripening more delicious and mellow varieties.
Winter storage of apples is a responsible process, when the efforts are justified by the presence of fruits on the dining table all winter. Vitamins, pleasant emotions and the pleasure of their taste can be extended for the whole winter, while keeping the fruit in the cellar in the proper conditions.