The main harvest time for apples falls on August-September. At this time, most varieties ripen, adapted to the conditions of middle latitudes. This is where the question arises, what to do with so many apples. Of course, you can make a bunch of apple preparations (jams, jams, marmalades, compotes, etc.), but it’s better to try to keep the apples fresh. Moreover, knowledgeable gardeners have their own methods of saving apples for the winter.
How to store apples properly
Fresh apples can be stored in the basement, in the apartment (in the refrigerator or in the room), on the balcony, in the cellar. During storage in winter, apples are still alive, that is, enzymatic reactions take place inside the fruits, apples release moisture, carbon dioxide and absorb oxygen. The larger the apple, the more substances it releases.
The storage time for apples often depends on the variety of the fruit. So, autumn varieties of apples are stored for no more than 2 months, winter varieties – from 4 to 7 months. Moreover, the temperature in the room where the fruits are located should be from 0 to 4 degrees. If the temperature is higher (for example, in a pantry), then the shelf life of apples is reduced.
Autumn apple varieties are best stored at temperatures between 1 and 4ºC, winter varieties between 4 and 10ºC, and dried apples are best stored at temperatures between 10 and 15ºC
For proper storage of apples in winter, some sort of fruit sorting is necessary. Go through the apples. Separate from healthy fruits those that are affected by pests and diseases. Do not take apples with mechanical damage for storage.
Now you need to sort the apples by size: small, medium, large. Medium apples are stored for the longest. Large ones quickly rot, and small ones wither. Therefore, small and large fruits should be eaten first. To enjoy apples until spring, fruits of different sizes should be kept separately. In addition, if you have several apple trees in your garden, then the entire available crop should be divided by varieties. After all, each variety has its own shelf life.
How to store apples in the cellar
It is best to store homemade apples in a cellar or basement, because they like coolness and good ventilation.
Apples should be placed in softwood crates or moisture resistant cardboard boxes with holes prior to storage. Apple containers must be safe and clean.
If there are not many fruits, it is better to wrap each one in paper so that the apples do not come into contact with each other. This will help to extend the shelf life of the apples. Even if one apple decays, the rest of the fruits will not get infected from it.
In crates, apples should be stacked in rows or diagonally to ensure good ventilation. And then sprinkle each layer of apples with buckwheat husks, husks, maple (oak) leaves, moss or sand.
To keep the fruits longer, each apple can be bathed in an alcoholic tincture of propolis (100 g of propolis is poured into 1 liter of alcohol) or in a 2% solution of calcium chloride.
Some people use river sand to store apples. The sand should be dry, fine and clean. Take a deep box and pour a layer of sand into it. Then place the apples in one layer. Cover them with sand so that you get a three centimeter layer on top. Then put the apples back in and cover the fruit with sand again, and so on, until the box is full of apples.
How to store dried apples
The second most popular way to store apples is drying. It is best to store dried apples in a sealed package that protects them from pests, odors and moisture penetration. As such packaging, you can take: wooden boxes, glass jars with tight-fitting lids, cardboard boxes, tuesques, bags made of dense fabric.
Before sending dried apples for storage, cover the bottom of the container with thick paper (preferably waxed). Transfer the dried apples to the container and cover with a paper towel on top. The storage container can now be closed.
Store dried apples in low humidity conditions at a temperature of 10-15 degrees. At the same time, sunlight should not fall on the fruits.