Building a Root Cellar in Texas? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Building a Root Cellar in Texas? Here's What You Need to Know

Root cellars are an excellent way to store fresh food, which is great for storing vegetables, fruits, and other fresh items. It can be built in your home basement or outside of your home. Foods stay fresh for a long time in the root cellar. The Root Cellar method is an old way of storing foods.

It is possible to build a root cellar in a variety of ways. Some are more straightforward to build than others. This guide will show you how to build a root cellar and store your produce so you can use it for many years to come.

How to Build Root Cellars for Your Home in Texas?

There are 3 types of a root cellar you can build in your home in Texas. Read below to know the process of building each one.

1. Basement or Under Porch Root Cellar

First of all, select a cold corner in the basement, which would also be relevant for building a ventilation system.

Start Building all the walls and ceilings of the Root Cellar with studs and board. In order to keep heat out of the Root Cellar, insulate the walls, ceiling, and door.

Build a ventilation system that will allow fresh air from the outside to be brought in and the old air to be delivered out. The growth of mold and mildew is prevented by it. If it gets too hot or too cold, you can adjust the temperature by adding or removing insulation.

Make shelves to keep the fruits and vegetables with wood or plywood, the key is to use wood that maintains a constant temperature.

2. Traditional Root Cellar

traditional Root cellar

Before you start digging, you should prepare the soil in your root cellar site.

Make sure that the location is in an area where the soil is not very compacted.

Start digging a hole, deep enough to reach a layer of sandy soil. 

Flare the edges of your hole in the ground so that it does not collapse.

Make a slope so that water doesn’t stay move down.

Lay the straw all the way around the hole, cover it with a big piece of wood, and then lay a layer of soil over the top.

3. Earth Berm Root Cellar

Build a foundation

First, you need to build a strong foundation to support your structure. This is where you dig down at least 6″ deep and make sure the ground is solid. Dig out a hole that is about 3 feet in diameter.

Build the walls

After you have a strong foundation, you will build a wall. You can build your wall with wood or concrete blocks. Make sure you use blocks that are at least 4″ thick.

Build the roof

Now you can build your roof. The roof should be at least 4′ off the ground. You can build your roof with wooden planks, metal, or concrete blocks.

Build the door

Build a door to your root cellar. Make sure it’s at least 2 feet off the ground and that it is well-built.

Fill in the cellar

Fill your root cellar with dirt, plants, or whatever you want.

Enjoy your root cellar!

Things you must consider in building a Root Cellar


You need to make sure there is adequate air circulation, that the temperature is correct, and that the humidity is at a level that will not encourage mold growth.

Make sure your cellar has both an air intake and exhaust vents to keep the air circulating.


Humidity levels inside your root cellar should be between 85 and 95% to prevent the cellar from losing moisture through evaporation and to keep produce from withering.

A humid environment is necessary to prevent products from drying out and spoiling.

You can achieve the proper humidity level by having a dirt floor since soil naturally has a good amount of moisture.


Keep the root cellar as dark as possible to prevent sprouting. The root cellar should be a dark, gloomy place.

It’s best to keep the lights off and cover the windows so the sun doesn’t shine in.


A root cellar needs to maintain a temperature of 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your root cellar needs to be designed to borrow cold from the ground or soil, but it shouldn’t freeze your produce in winter weather.

A root cellar needs to be kept at a constant temperature to ensure fresh food.

Benefits of storing foods in a Root Cellar

Root cellars are useful for storing large amounts of food, and for many other things too. Having a root cellar is like having your own vegetable market right in your backyard.

Growing your own food helps you not waste any of the food you’ve grown yourself. Eating fresh, raw foods will improve your health and well-being. This will help you keep all your extra items safe.

How deep underground should a root cellar be?

A root cellar should be 10 feet (3 meters) deep and should be dug in a location that is protected from frost.

Root cellars are used to store food for the winter. In some areas, the soil is dry and sandy, and therefore it may be necessary to dig deeper.

You need to be able to function in a colder environment, but you also need to be able to function in a warmer environment.

How much does a root cellar cost?

A root cellar can be built for as little as $500 or as much as $25,000.

The cost of a root cellar will depend on the size and design. The type of foundation, materials, and insulation will determine how much it costs to build a root cellar. 

How long do potatoes last in a root cellar?

Potatoes are a good food to store for the winter. They keep well in a root cellar. You have a good in-ground root cellar, and you store your potatoes for at least 5-8 months.

Final Note

A root cellar is a natural refrigerator and will allow food to be stored for as long as possible. Existing basements or outbuildings can be adapted to make them fit for purpose, however, the best option for creating a root cellar is digging into the ground to create a purpose-built store.

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