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Many apples can be kept for months, given the right variety and conditions. Here's how to store apples for the winter:
It's almost easier to say which apples do not store well. In general, summer apples, which are softer like Gala and Delicious (red and yellow), do not age well or store well. These early ripening varieties, starting in July and going through August have high sugar content, but do not store well.
Firmer, more dense later ripening varieties, like Fuji, store much better. There is a table of most common apple varieties at the bottom of this page and a see this page for a more detailed chart, organized by ripening date, of apple varieties. It also identifies which apples store best.
The apples need to be bruise-free and picked or recently, or at least, cooled quickly after harvest and kept stored properly (just above freezing) since they were harvested.
Typically, three or four months for late apples, under the conditions described below. After that, they start to dry out, get a wrinkled appearance and become softer and more spongy feeling. Still good to make applesauce or apple butter, or even dried apples.
These are critical:
While a walk-in fridge or root cellar is ideal, an unheated basement, an enclosed, unheated porch, an heated garage that does not freeze, an unheated attic, will also work well.
The boxed apples need to be kept in a cool, dark spot where they won't freeze.
Periodically (weekly, at least) unwrap a few apples to verify for spoilage. Look for dark or wet spots as a sign.
Remove spoiled apples and any contaminated newspaper
Below is a table of typical storage durations under
ideal conditions gathered from various university extension
|Storage life of some common
at 30-32°F. and 90-95 percent relative humidity
|Variety||Typical storage life|
|Granny Smith||3-5 months|
|Northern Spy||3-6 months|
|Arkansas Black||3-6 months|
Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book