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If you’re looking for ways to preserve your garden produce and keep your food fresh for longer, building a DIY root cellar is a fantastic option.

Root cellars provide a cool, dark, and humid environment, perfect for storing root vegetables, fruits, and even canned goods.

Get inspired by these 18 cool DIY root cellar ideas and alternative plans:

OR, If you aren’t sure about building a DIY root cellar, head over to our library of Ideas and find something else to inspire you!

1. Traditional Underground Root Cellar

Build a classic underground root cellar using concrete, bricks, or stones to create a natural insulation against temperature fluctuations.

2. Earth-Sheltered Root Cellar

Dig into a hillside and build an earth-sheltered root cellar, which offers natural temperature control and blends seamlessly with the landscape.

3. Basement Root Cellar

Convert a section of your basement into a root cellar by installing proper ventilation and insulation to maintain the ideal storage conditions.

4. Outdoor Root Cellar Shed

Transform a garden shed into a root cellar by adding insulation, shelving, and temperature-regulating features.

5. Buried Trash Can Root Cellar

Repurpose large, sturdy trash cans as mini root cellars by burying them in the ground and adding a lid for easy access.

6. Pit Root Cellar

Dig a deep pit and line it with straw or sand to create a simple and affordable root cellar for storing vegetables.

7. Barrel Root Cellar

Use old wine or whiskey barrels to build a compact root cellar, perfect for storing smaller quantities of produce.

8. Refrigerator Root Cellar

Convert an old, non-functional refrigerator into a root cellar by adjusting the thermostat to maintain the desired temperature and humidity.

9. Walk-In Closet Root Cellar

Dedicate a walk-in closet or small room in your house to store your root vegetables by controlling temperature and humidity levels.

10. Off-Grid Root Cellar

Create an off-grid root cellar by using solar power or other alternative energy sources to maintain the ideal conditions.

11. Straw Bale Root Cellar

Use straw bales to insulate an above-ground structure, creating a low-cost root cellar with excellent temperature regulation.

12. Underground Culvert Root Cellar

Repurpose an old culvert pipe to create an underground root cellar with ample space for storing your harvest.

13. Insulated Box Root Cellar

Build a well-insulated box structure to store your produce, protecting it from temperature fluctuations.

14. Hobbit Hole Root Cellar

Design a whimsical hobbit hole-inspired root cellar that adds a touch of fantasy to your garden.

15. Greenhouse Root Cellar

Combine a root cellar with a greenhouse to grow cold-hardy vegetables during winter while storing others underground.

16. Sunken Root Cellar

Dig a hole in your yard and build a sunken root cellar for a discreet and space-saving storage solution.

17. Cold Frame Root Cellar

Utilize a cold frame design to create a compact and efficient root cellar with built-in insulation.

18. Attic Root Cellar

Convert an unused attic space into a root cellar by installing proper insulation and temperature control measures.

Pointers for Choosing a DIY Root Cellar Idea

  1. Assess the Space: Before starting your DIY root cellar project, evaluate the available space in your yard or basement to determine the ideal size and location for the cellar.
  2. Consider the Climate: Depending on your region’s climate, opt for an above-ground root cellar with proper insulation or an underground cellar for better temperature control.
  3. Material Selection: Choose durable and weather-resistant materials for longevity, such as concrete, bricks, or even repurposed shipping containers.
  4. Ventilation and Air Circulation: Ensure proper ventilation to regulate humidity levels and prevent mold growth inside the root cellar.
  5. Accessibility: Design the cellar with easy access to your stored produce and enough space for movement inside.

DIY Vs Buying/Paying For a Root Cellar

Not sure whether you’d take the time and patience to build your own root cellar, or simply pay for someone to build one for you? Here’s a few things for you to consider about both scenarios:

DIY Root Cellar

  • Pros: Building your root cellar allows you to customize the size, design, and features according to your needs and available space. It can be a cost-effective option if you already have the necessary construction skills and can use affordable materials.
  • Cons: DIY root cellars may require significant time, effort, and expertise to construct, especially if you’re not familiar with construction techniques. Improper insulation or ventilation could lead to temperature and humidity control issues, affecting your stored produce.

Buying/Paying For a Root Cellar

  • Pros: Purchasing a pre-built root cellar or hiring professionals to construct one ensures convenience and a quicker setup. Pre-made root cellars often come with proper insulation and ventilation systems, ensuring optimal conditions for storing produce.
  • Cons: Buying a ready-made root cellar may be more expensive than building one yourself, especially if you choose high-quality models with advanced features. You may have fewer options for customization, and shipping costs could apply if purchasing from distant suppliers.

A Final Word About DIY Root Cellar Ideas

With these innovative DIY root cellar ideas and alternative plans, you can enjoy fresh garden produce all year round and reduce food waste while embracing a sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle.

Thanks for reading – happy gardening and preserving with your new DIY root cellar!

Suggested Reading: DIY Garden Tool Shed Ideas