Printer Friendly

WHAT'S IN STORE FOR YOUR HARVEST? As fruit and vegetables ripen, Hannah Stephenson offers some storage solutions which will enable you to enjoy the fruits of your labour in the months ahead GARDENING.

IT has been a difficult year for fruit and veg.

But for those of us who haven't suffered from poor pollination of fruit crops, tomato and potato blight and slug-infested greens, now's the time to think about how you are going to store what you have.

Temperatures are dropping and tender veg need to be encouraged to ripen before the first frosts. Anyone with unripe tomatoes shouldn't delay in removing leaves from the bases to let in more sunlight to the fruits.

They will need harvesting before the first frosts and should continue to ripen indoors if you pick them now. Cut whole trusses of green tomatoes and hang them in an airy place such as a garage or spare bedroom.

Maincrop potatoes should be harvested on warm, sunny days and left to dry in the sun, after which they can be stored in thick paper sacks (only half-fill them as this makes it easier to check for bad potatoes) and kept in the dark in a frost-free place. First early and second early varieties generally don't store well, so use these quickly. Maincrops should store until after Christmas.

Bend the leaves of onions and shallots over at the neck and once they turn brown, pull the plants but leave the bulbs on the ground to dry off. After about a week, lay them in trays or put them into nets to hang up in the shed. Alternatively, you can make French onion strings by keeping as much of the straw-like foliage on them and plaiting it, reinforcing the strands with hessian twine.

Early apples generally don't keep so they need to be eaten soon after picking, but later varieties will keep in your fridge's salad compartment for between four and six weeks.

Alternatively, place them in wooden boxes lined with newspaper, in a cool, airy shed, where the mice won't get them. You can wrap stored apples in newspaper to ensure they never touch each other and prevent one bad one infecting the whole crop. Apples and pears kept in this way should last for six weeks or more.

Root veg including beetroot, carrots and turnips can be stored in boxes, but leave parsnips in the ground. Leave hardy varieties of leeks where they are and you should still be digging them up until late February.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 22, 2012
Previous Article:A family in paradise; You can relax round the pool or explore the lava fields left behind by volcanic eruptions but whatever you choose you''re sure...
Next Article:What to do this week.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters