Jeremy brua
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Root cellar help

If you were going to build a toot cellar how would it be set up? And what else would you put in it? It will be atleast 24'x24'. Money isn't really an issue....to a point.

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jal_ut
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Wow, that's a big root cellar. I guess if you are a commercial grower that is fine, but for a home garden that is about 4 times the needed space. Picture everything you grow that may want to go in a root cellar, then visualize how much space it will take to store it..................

I built a root cellar at one location, and it was 12 x 16 feet if I recall right. The walls were of cinder block and I poured a concrete floor on top of the walls. I left an opening in the floor for access to the cellar, with steps. I put some hooks in the ceiling of the cellar for hanging things. I also built storage shelves. It had an earth floor. Then I built a shed on top of the cellar. The shed got used for storing garden supplies and whatever else found its way into there.

I found this cellar to be excellent for storing any veggies for short term in summer, and carrots and potatoes thru winter. It was also a cool spot to hang game animals if the weather was warm. Apples kept well there too.

On the South side, I made a sort of mini green house or hot house that protruded out 2 feet from the wall so it had glass on three sides and the access was from inside the shed. This area was for starting plants.

I miss that cellar.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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If you are in to that, it could also be your wine cellar. Ideal temperature for storing wine is 50-55 degrees, which should be about the year around temperature of an unheated underground cellar.

Set up for that would just be some slightly downslanted shelves where you could put the wine bottles horizontally with the cork staying moist.

But even so, that doesn't take up much room. For most of us non-plutocrat types one or two shelves (depending on the length of the shelf) would be more than plenty.

Besides root vegetables and wine, what else benefits from cool storage? Natural fur coats, if you happen to own these and aren't worried about PETA throwing paint on you if you wear it. I inherited a full length mink coat when my mother died and I gave it to the Goodwill.
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Jeremy brua
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A lady I did a lot of work for wants me to build her a garage with a root cellar under it. She was thinking of breaking it into a few sections. Root cellar, wine making, and canned food storage. I just finished a green house/ sunroom on her house. This spring will be the largest raised bed garden I will ever see. It will be 60'x240'!!! There will be a 4' raised bed and then a 3' walk way then a raised bed....for the 240' all retaining wall block and pavers. I'm so glad I get to build all this for her.

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rainbowgardener
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Wow.... buy yourself a yacht off of what she pays you for all that. Is she by any chance one of those doomsday prepper types? :)
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jal_ut
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Aw, I get it. Yes a cellar under a garage floor would be a large cellar.

I am a retired builder by trade. I have built lots of suspended floors. They are expensive to build because of the shoring and support structures. needed. The floors also need to be at least 6 inches thick and heavily reinforced. It may pay to have an engineer look at the design to make sure it will support a car or three.........

As a rule, root cellars have a quite high humidity and are not ideal for storage of any thing that may rust, or dried goods that should remain dry.

Perhaps, you could make only one fourth of it for a root cellar and put concrete or block walls for that room and a door to isolate it from the rest of the area, and leave it a dirt floor, then put in a concrete floor on the rest of the area and put in three windows and vapor proof the floor and walls then there would be a chance of having a storage or work area down there that was neither dark nor terribly humid. The walls can be painted on the outside with waterproofing and put a 6 mil plastic sheet under the floor. It would then be more like a basement and could be useful for many things.

To have that much space just as a damp, dark old root cellar doesn't make much sense to me.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Jeremy brua
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Thats kind of what I was thinking. A nice "kitchen" for doing the canning would be nice. I was also thinking about building a wood floor over the dirt like a deck. It would be a lot cleaner then a dirt floor.

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