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Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Do You Have Any Recommendations on Ventilation for a Root Cellar?

I would like recommendations on ventilation of a root cellar. I am using an 8-foot-wide by 10-foot-high by 20-foot-long steel shipping container that will be buried. I am thinking of a louvered vent in the door and a turbine vent at the back corner of the roof. Produce will include tree fruit and garden produce.

Ventilation to control temperature and humidity is important. Insulation is also an important part of controlling the temperature of a root cellar, but if the shipping container is completely surrounded by several feet of earth, you probably won’t need to add insulation — except in the door. You can get some great tips on controlling ventilation with simple, manually controlled vents by reading Build a Basement Root Cellar.

— Troy Griepentrog, associate editor