How to Collect Clean Dry Store and Enjoy Walnuts

If your lucky enough to have a fruiting Walnut growing in your neighbourhood then you are going to need to learn how to Collect, Clean, Dry and Store fresh Walnuts then you’re in luck. If Walnuts are completely new to you, then not perhaps after reading my article, you will consider planting one? But don’t expect nuts any time soon!

Follow my step by step, picture guide to harvesting, cleaning, drying and strong walnuts, be sure to leave a comment your feedback is vital.

Our Walnuts paddocks consist of 40 trees in two varieties
A Walnut paddock consisting of 40 trees in two French varieties
Walnut bark is very distinctive
Once a Walnut tree reaches maturity you can expect a heavy crop every year.
Once a Walnut tree reaches maturity you can expect a heavy crop every year.
Picking Walnuts in the green is not a good idea.
Picking Walnuts in the green is not a good idea.
A split forms along the length of the Walnut
Waiting until the fruit cracks and exposes the shell within.
Waiting until the fruit cracks and exposes the shell within.
Wait for the Walnuts to fall before collecting them
Wait for the Walnuts to fall before collecting them
Walnuts should be handled wearing gloves
Walnuts should be handled wearing gloves to avoid staining your fingers
Collect Walnuts in the dry
Collect Walnuts in the dry, ideally lay them flat on a drying rack to start to dry in the sun.

Walnuts typically take 2-3 weeks to dry out completely, during this period you need to keep them dry and in a well ventilated room warm room to help them the nut (walnut meat) dry out without mould developing on the shell.

Mobile drying racks are perfect for drying nuts and herbs, moving them into the sunshine on sunny Autumn days is the best way to dry walnuts. The colour of the shell will lighten and the weight of the nut will decrease, you may also hear a slight rattle these are the indicators that tell us the walnut has finished drying and can be safely stored for future use.

I have included below some photo of the drying process we use to prepare our Walnuts, avoid using newspaper to dry your walnut harvest as this limits the air flow and creates damp conditions where mould will quickly develop. Instead use a large mesh or wire rack to keep the walnuts in place, ideally rotating the Walnuts daily to help them completely dehydrate for increased storage time.

A large mesh will help airflow and allow the walnuts to dry.
A large mesh will help airflow and allow the walnuts to dry.
Add a few Walnuts to secure your net in place.
Add a few Walnuts to secure your net in place.
Allow enough space for the walnuts to move around when rolled.
Allow enough space for the walnuts to move around when rolled.
A warm room will help speed up the process which can take up to three weeks.
A warm room will help speed up the process which can take up to three weeks.
Stacking boxes with slats and plenty of airflow are just one idea for drying walnuts.
Stacking boxes with slats and plenty of airflow are just one idea for drying walnuts.

Walnuts are packed with energy and contain healthy nutrients, minerals, antioxidants plus vitamins that are essential for good health. eating a handful of walnuts a day will provide you with the recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein for increased health and vitality.

Walnuts packed with goodness for you and your family.
Walnuts packed with goodness for you and your family.

Do you really need any more reasons for planting a Walnut tree? I don’t know about you but I would love to plant a Walnut paddock for the future and with over 30 varieties you can be sure to find a walnut that suits your temperate climate.

Interested in learning more then read my article on the trials and tribulations experienced by one determined walnut fancier who set out to plant a walnut paddock in middle England in the early 1980’s.

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About Head Gardener 286 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

5 Comments

  1. I have tried all method’s known to man and a nail brush or scubbing brush seems to work best! A wire brush can be a bit too harsh but whatever works for you. Once tried them in a tumble drier in a old pillowcase tied at the end, most of the shells cracked open and I was able to clean the meat from the shells. We had over 40 trees in Hertfordshire back ache and sore fingers for months. Happy Days 🙂

  2. i always get walnuts for the squirrels. They don’t have any trees around anymore. Everyone is cutting them. today I have beenworking on walnuts all day. taking hulls off,m taking a wire brush and getting the other stuff off. Is there any easier way?

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