Country Lore: Dig a Bucket-Size Root Cellar

A 5-gallon bucket and bucket-size hole are all you need to make a simple root cellar for carrots.


  • bucket size root cellar
    To make a nifty, mini root cellar right in the garden, simply bury a bucket and cover it with a straw bale.
    ILLUSTRATION: KRISTIN HURLIN

  • bucket size root cellar

For sweet, crisp carrots all winter, we always left them in the ground under a thick layer of leaves or straw to keep them from freezing. But digging carrots in midwinter was not my idea of fun.

I wanted a better way to store the carrots, so I made a miniature root cellar right in the garden. First, I cut the bottom from a 5-gallon bucket. Then I dug a bucket-size hole in the ground just deep enough so the top of it was flush with the ground. I filled the bucket with just-dug carrots, placed the lid on the bucket and plopped a bale of straw on top for insulation.

My winter carrots stay sweet and crisp — just as they did in the ground.

Chriss Stutzman
Navarre, Ohio



Rewolf71
10/8/2021 11:30:37 AM

some kind of groundcover will help keep the soil moist. any mulch like a thick layer of hay or even growing thyme or clover (which renews the soil as well) instead of bare ground will help with water conservation. especially in orchards and gardens. If you plant some trees near your garden you will get some respite from the heat and full strength of the sun. There's a hole in my bucket dear Liza because it medians the moisture. definitely line it with peat moss or spagnum moss and a few cedar chips. that should keep critters from digging in. They hate the smell of cedar!


david g
1/23/2013 8:27:55 PM

onions are best stored in a dry light airy place in the ground with moisture they will rot


Tennille Onyx
1/16/2013 2:11:06 PM

Will this work with potatoes???






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