MP562, Reviewed December 2010
Use this chart as a quick reference. For more detailed information about constructing and using a root cellar, check the references listed or call your local county extension center.
NoteStoring foods in a root cellar makes it possible to eat fresh fruits and vegetables from the home garden well into the winter months.
The length of time that fruits and vegetables keep well in root cellars depends on several factors:
Vegetables and fruits should not be stored together even though temperatures and moisture requirements are similar. As fruits such as apples and pears ripen, they give off ethylene gas which decreases the storage life of vegetables. This is especially evident with potatoes which sprout early if stored near certain fruits. Also, the odor of strong smelling vegetables, like turnips and cabbage, can be absorbed by fruits and other vegetables. Store them away from other food and where the odor cannot waft into the house.
Do not allow fruits and vegetables to freeze.
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