With food prices rising, now is the time to consider how best to store your garden apples and pears to ensure a supply of free fresh fruit in the dark days of post-Christmas winter.

The UK’s number one specialist in fruit trees and plants give some timely advice that will help ensure a supply of fresh apples and pears, and save money.

John Bowers and Steve Edwards, the joint owners of Chris Bowers and Sons at Whispering Trees Nursery, Wimbotsham in Norfolk advise that the best time to pick fruit for storage is before they are fully ripe.

“With correct storage they should last right through until after Christmas,” says John. “The secret is regular checking to remove any that have started to deteriorate and to eat those that are reaching full ripeness.”

The Whispering Trees storage plan is simply to follow.

  • Apples, both dessert and cooking, should be picked before fully ripe and individually wrapped in clean paper bags, newspaper, or kitchen roll.
  • Pears do not need to be wrapped and they mature more rapidly than apples.
  • Lay the fruits out in a cardboard, wooden or plastic box, ensuring they are not touching to allow a good flow of air.
  • Do not mix different fruits in the same storage container.
  • Keep away from onions and other strong smelling substances.
  • Check regularly and remove diseased fruits.
  • Keep in a dark, dry and frost-free area.

“The next step is to enjoy as stored apples and pears retain all the flavour and texture of fresh fruits, even in the depth of winter” says Steve Edwards.

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