List of the best storing and preserving methods for fruit and vegetables


Different produce responds to different treatments – and some things just need to be eaten.

The list below gives a summary of which fruit and vegetables store and preserve well. It may also help in planing your edible gardening year.

Stores well:

  • apples, pears (not early variety)
  • beetroot, cabbage, carrot, garlic, kohlrabi, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, swede, turnip

Good for bottling:

  • all fruits
  • tomato

Makes delightful things:

  • all fruits
  • aubergine, cabbage, cauliflower, courgette, cucumber, onion, tomato

Can be dried:

  • apples, damsons, plums
  • beans, peas, tomato

Freezes well:

  • berry fruits, apples and pears (if pureed)
  • broad beans, broccoli, calabrese, French beans, peas, runner beans

Lasts well on the plant or in the ground:

  • rhubarb
  • artichoke (Jerusalem), beetroot, broccoli (sprouting), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeraic, celery, chard, chicory, kale, leeks, lettuce and salads, parsnip, swede, turnip

Eat when ready: few or no good storage preservation options

  • artichoke (globe), asparagus, cardoon, radish, sweetcorn

21st-Century Smallholder – by Paul Waddington

Storing seeds

Seeds need to be stored in a dark and dry place (ideally 5°C). Jerry Coleby-Williams uses old film canisters to store his seeds. Specimen bottles would work well, but I’m not sure where to buy them. To help keep the moisture out, add some silica gel crystals. (You may know these as the small white “Do Not Eat” bags you find in vitamin bottles).

I have found the best way to store my seeds is alphabetically in an IKEA cd box. If you want to get fancy try the Plant Agenda. Josh Byrne keeps his seed packets in use pinned to a cork board in his potting shed.

If you are storing your seeds for a long time the fridge might be the best place for them. Don’t forget seeds are living and they need to be sown and collected every couple of years.