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How to Store Apples in the Ground for Winter

By Athena Hessong ; Updated September 21, 2017
Keep your apples fresh after harvest by storing them in a cone-shaped pit.

Winter storage of apples does not require a specialty root cellar. Make your own dug-in pit for storing apples to keep them fresh until spring, even through the cold winter months. According to Purdue University, apples and pears store well in cone-shaped pits built partially underground, if kept away from potatoes and onions kept in similar pits. Properly stored, your apples will keep for up to eight months.

Dig a round pit, measuring 3 feet wide, 6 to 8 inches in the ground.

Spread 3 to 4 inches of straw to line the base of the pit.

Arrange your storage apples in a pyramid shape on top of the straw, but do not store other vegetables or fruits with the apples.

Pile another layer of straw on top of the apples to completely cover them.

Cover the pile of apples and straw with a layer of dirt 3 to 4 inches deep. Use the dirt dug from the ground to create the hole, but leave a 1-foot-diameter gap so the straw shows through in the dirt at the top of the cone to allow for ventilation.

Tamp down the dirt, creating the cone on all sides to hold it in place.

Dig a 6-inch wide trench around the cone for drainage.

Set a board on top of the cone to cover the open spot and the top, and arrange a heavy stone or brick on top of the board to keep the board in place.

Leave the apples in storage in the ground for three to eight months, according to Purdue University.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Straw
  • Apples
  • Wooden board
  • Heavy stone or brick