TyCerrig Posts: 61
in Fruit & veg
I was fortunate enough to take possession of my first ever allotment back in May - very overgrown and unloved, but I have spent as time time as I can bringing it back to life, and enjoyed every minute of it! My question though is whether anyone has any thought or tips on how to store fruit and veg after harvest? I can see it becoming an issue. Should I invest in an additional freezer, or should I just try for succession sowing/planting?
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH ADDITIONAL FREEZERS, IMHO.
I HAVE FROZEN STUFF GOING BACK TO 2015 AND I'M STILL TRYING TO GET THROUGH THIS YEAR'S THINGS.
If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
I only tend to use the freezer for soft fruits that I haven't dehydrated for long term preservation.
It depends of course what you're growing; some like potato can be stored very well without the need to freeze.
Succession planting is the best way to go but as someone who watched nature muck it up so that despite my best efforts all 50 onions matured at the same time... be prepared to make plenty of chutney!
I used to have an allottment a good few years ago but gave up after a few years because my crops were being trashed or stolen by vandals etc. So I decided to concentrate on growing veg in my garden, where I could keep an eye on things..
So yes successional sewings are a good plan as are harvesting your crop before full maturity. I do freeze soft fruit and make jams and also all varieties of tomatoes with Carrots and Potatoes tend to get eaten.. I find Onions store well in strings..
Some crops I left in the ground still Salsify are similar to Parsnips and are fine with frost I harvest as and when.
I did try storing carrots and potatoes in a frost free shed in a mix of dry peat and sand.. Result was the local Mice nibbled them!! But then they even ate thru the plastic pouched of Potato fertilizer ?? Keep going and do not lose heart..
Last edited: 14 November 2017 11:24:58
Store potatoes in sacks, keep dark or they will go green & be inedible. Check through them at least once a month in case any are rotting & will spoil the rest. Top fruit will keep for several weeks dependent on remaining frost free but cool & dark plus also variety. Some apples store for months others need to be used straight away check season of use when choosing which varieties to buy. Pears ripen off the tree but will not last as long as apples can be cooked & frozen very successfully.
Now as far as excess crops go, I have fellow gardener buddies who will swop fruit n' veg so we get more variety. We even seed swop too.I know we both grow organically so its all good.
They suppy me with logs and kindling for our fire pit for the odd soirees in the summer evenings..I make jams amd preserves and they are in demand too.. So I do not really have storage problems..
Last edited: 18 November 2017 23:12:04
Thanks for the tips. I won't be rushing out to buy a new freezer now! It seems the most difficult crops to store are the leaf varieties, such as cabbage, kale, chard etc. What is the best way to achieve succession planting? Is it simply leaving a few weeks between sowing? It all looks so simple when Monty does it on GW, yet the reality doesn't seem so straight forward! You can tell I'm a novice veg grower, but a very keen one!
I am afraid I DID get an extra freezer, we inherited 3 apple trees, a plum, cherry and 2 pears. I do make jam,chutney, but still have some from last year, I make past, sauce soup, cut up and freeze apples, plus crumbles.I brought a proper apple crate, but dont find they keep very well, I made sure they were all unmarked. Spuds are in special containers in spare room, onions hanging in shed, seem to do OK, September this year I was eating the last from the previous September! These are checked weekly,I already have some onions indoors for using pears, are kept in the fridge, then a few a a time brought out for eating. Also made into chutnies and crumbles.