Pictures of completed root cellar!

The root cellar is finished! Can I get a “hell yeah”?

Click to embiggen:

Through the root cellar door

Yep, that’s water on the floor, from the spring rains. It always oozes in around the corners – the shelves are on bricks to keep the wood away from the moisture. (Update 2011: I had to take the dark red paneling off because it wicked moisture up from the floor and got moldy.)

Root cellar shelves
(I ran out of 2x4s…but there’s room to add a third shelf on the top. These are 7′ long and the uprights are 64″ tall…just barely shorter than me.) The white circle in the lower left is the cap on the end of the cold air vent pipe.

Root cellar ventilation pipes
This is the ventilation system. The window lifted out of its frame easily, and I replaced it with a “sandwich” of plywood and rigid foam. Two pipes pass through it: a short one at ceiling height to let out warm air, and a long one down the wall and along the ground under the shelves to let in cold air. They open at opposite corners of the room to increase airflow. (That’s why the shelves are so open, too.) The pipes have caps for the ends to keep it from getting *too* cold in there. Or to keep warm air out in the spring/summer. Update 2011: I eventually just took this system down and opened/closed the window as needed.  The pipe vent system didn’t change the temperature fast enough.

There’s also a video with a 360 degree view. It looks very pink; the only fluorescent lights I had were grow-lights, which makes the colors down there very funky.

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12 Comments

  1. varmentrout said,

    April 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Hell yeah!

    I’m envious.

    I hope that is a min/max thermometer on display. They are invaluable.

    I have extra Storage cabbage seedlings if you are thinking in that direction. (Yes, it is a named variety.)

  2. teacherpatti said,

    April 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    HELL YEAH! I gotta get my husband on this…I just need to do the thing with the window but he’s fussed about that.
    It looks awesome, Emily!!

  3. LakeLili said,

    April 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Great job! Capping the pipes should keep any interested wild life out too! Would love to see more pictures once its stocked.

    • Emily said,

      April 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      There’s also a grate on the outside of the pipes – I forgot to show that. It’s a kind of slatted cap for drain pipes – fits right into the tube. No mice!

      I’ll do pics in the fall when it’s full. 🙂

  4. April 26, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Hell yeah! 🙂 You rock, E!

  5. Ken said,

    April 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Very cool! I’m glad you got it all finished up!

    When can you start using it? (ie, is there anything that goes into a root cellar in April?)

    • Emily said,

      April 27, 2010 at 8:22 am

      It won’t really see use until fall…there’s just no produce right now.

  6. Momster said,

    April 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Wheeee-oooot!

  7. Carol said,

    April 26, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Wow!! You totally ROCK! This is awesome. I think my hubby needs a new project 🙂 Can’t wait to see all those filled shelves!

  8. EdgeWiseInAnnArbor said,

    April 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I’m a little concerned with your shelf design, depending on how much weight you’re putting on them. If you’re putting bins of sand (for your root vegetables) on those it will get really heavy. You might want to add scraps of 2×4 sistered onto the verticals just underneath your short (deep) horizontal supports. If long horizontals start to bow, you can also add to each another that is perpendicular underneath. It looks like you’re using hard drywall screws everywhere, which is much better than soft nails.

    Otherwise, it looks great! Good idea putting them on blocks. I made the mistake and it was so sad to have to redo my own shelves.

    • Emily said,

      April 27, 2010 at 8:21 am

      I’ll keep an eye on it, but the span is only 3.5 feet. It sure feels like a sturdy shelf. I usually use peat moss instead of sand, which will help the weight. But yes – there are lots of options for adding some more support, all quick and easy to do. 🙂

  9. April 27, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Congratulations and great work! Looks really good. I bet you can’t wait for fall when it’ll be time to stash this year’s harvest in there.


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