The Content Of The Article:
- Material and tool for the apple orchards
- Step by step: How to build the fruit boxes
- This keeps the crop fresh for a long time
If you store your apples on normal basement shelves, you need a lot of space. Ideal storage containers, however, are the so-called apple pies. The stackable fruit crates make optimum use of the space between the shelves and are built so that the apples are well ventilated. In addition, the apples can be easily restacked and sorted out. Our apple-rise model brand self-made is also quite inexpensive: The material costs for a box are about 15 €. If you do without the metal handles, it will be much cheaper.
Material and tool for the apple orchards
For an apple walk you need the material listed below. The board dimensions are the standard products available in many DIY stores such as Obi. Since the boxes are stackable, you should build several of them and buy more material accordingly. Tip: If you want to save money, you can do without the metal handles and instead simply screw a wooden strip on the left and right as a handle.
- 2 smooth-edged boards (19 x 144 x 400 mm) for the front side
- 2 smooth-edged boards (19 x 74 x 600 mm) for the long side
- 7 smooth edge boards (19 x 74 x 400 mm) for the underside
- 1 square strip (13 x 13 x 500 mm) as a spacer
- 2 metal handles (eg 36 x 155 x 27 mm) with matching screws
- 36 countersunk wood screws (3.5 x 45 mm)
If you do not want to saw yourself, you can cut the boards in most home improvement stores
The following tools are recommended for the construction of the Apfelstiegen: tape measure, stop angle, pencil, jigsaw or circular saw, coarse sandpaper, mandrel, drill with 3 mm wood drill (if possible with centering point), cordless screwdriver with Phillips bit, workbench. Who is not so well equipped, of course, can use hand tools instead of the power tools.
Step by step: How to build the fruit boxes
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Building instructions for the apple staircase
First, record the required dimensions. The board lengths are 40 centimeters on the short sides and on the ground, 60 centimeters on the long sides
With a stitch or circular saw all boards are now brought to the correct length. A sturdy workbench ensures that the material rests well and does not slip during sawing
The rough saw edges are smoothed quickly with a little sandpaper. This leaves hands free from splinters later on
For the front pages, the two 14.4-centimeter high boards are needed. One centimeter from the edge, draw a thin line and drill two small holes for the screws. So does not tear the wood during subsequent screwing
For the frame, fasten the short pieces on each side with two screws on the 7.4-centimeter-high long-side boards. To ensure that the thread pulls straight into the wood, you must hold the cordless screwdriver as vertical as possible
Before screwing the underside, drill all seven boards, also one centimeter to the edge. In order not to have to measure the distance for each floorboard individually, a 13 x 13 millimeter thick strip serves as a spacer. The cracks in the soil are important so that the apples are later well ventilated from all sides
Small trick: Do not leave both outer floor planks flush with the long boards, but insert them about two millimeters inwards. This offset gives some play, so it does not jam later when stacking
For easier transport, two sturdy metal handles are mounted on the short sides, in such a way that they sit nicely in the middle. To the upper edge you leave a distance of about three centimeters
With a spike you prick the screw holes. So you save the marking and the screws can be better screwed. These are usually included in the handles and are therefore not listed separately in our list of materials
The finished fruit staircase measures 40 x 63.8 cm outside and 36.2 x 60 cm inside. The somewhat non-circular dimensions result from the design of the thickness of the boards
Thanks to the raised front side, the stairs can be stacked well and enough air can circulate. The apples are loosely distributed and in no case squeezed - otherwise there are pressure points that rot quickly
The storage room is a cellar, where it is cool and the air is not too dry. Check the apples weekly and sort out fruits with fouling consistently
This keeps the crop fresh for a long time
The optimum storage space for apples is dark and has refrigerator-like temperatures of three to six degrees. This delays the aging process of the fruits and they often remain crisp until spring.In warmer conditions, such as in the modern boiler room, apples shrivel quickly. Also important is a high humidity, preferably from 80 to 90 percent. It can be simulated by wrapping the fruit or just the whole apple staircase in foil. With this method, regular checking and ventilation is top priority, because it can easily lead to rot due to temperature changes and condensation.
In addition, apples release the ripening gas ethylene, which causes the fruits to age faster. To avoid this, make small holes in the film. Said gas is also the reason why pome fruit should always be stored separately from vegetables. It goes without saying that only undamaged and long-lasting fruits are granted. In addition to 'Jonagold', good storage apples include 'Berlepsch', 'Boskoop', 'Pinova', 'Rubinola' and 'Topaz'. Less suitable are varieties such as 'Alcmene', 'James Grieve' and 'Klarapfel', which should be consumed immediately after harvesting.
You can download a design drawing of our apple staircase with all measurements here for free.