Stored apples

How to store apples

Discover three ways to store apples so that they keep for several months, with the help of our advice.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do To do in November

Do not To do in December

There are several ways to store apples, from keeping them fresh in the fridge for a few weeks, to long-term storage in apple crates. Early apple varieties, harvested between September and October – such as ‘Beauty of Bath’ and ‘Worcester Pearmain’ – don’t tend to keep well and are best eaten within a fortnight of harvesting.

If stored correctly, late apple varieties, harvested in November – such as ‘Newton Wonder’ and ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’ – can last throughout the winter months.

Only store firm, unblemished apples, as damaged fruits are likely to go mouldy and infect the entire crop. Check your stored apples regularly and remove any damaged ones immediately.

The following storage suggestions will help you decide which option is best for you.

If stored correctly, late apple varieties, harvested in November – such as 'Newton Wonder' and 'Ashmead's Kernel' – can last throughout the winter months.
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Total time:

Step 1

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Place a few apples in a clear freezer bag (biodegradable options are available online) – or even better, paper bags – and store in the fridge for up to a week. Use pre-used bags where possible.

Step 2

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To store apples over winter, wrap each one in a single sheet of newspaper and place them in single layers on a tray. For a cheap alternative to apple racks, use an old filing tray, adding more layers as you need them.

Step 3

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If you have the space and a large apple tree, you may want to invest in an apple rack. Apple racks can store a large quantity of fruit, and enable air to circulate between the layers, so you don’t need to wrap each fruit individually.

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Getting the biggest harvests

Meadow-style planting looks lovely growing beneath apple and other fruit trees. However, if you’re after a bumper harvest, keeping the area below your tree free of competing plants will leave more water and nutrients available for your tree. Spread a mulch of garden compost around the base of the tree each spring, ensuring the area extends at least 1m from the trunk. Try to avoid letting the compost sit directly in contact with the trunk, as this could encourage fungal diseases.

Garden spade