Root cellar in Texas?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by nodak3, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My grandparent's on both sides had them, one near Overton and the other where Omen lake went in on Mud Creek. They worked ok, but probably not as well as in dryer cooler climates. Still, they overwintered taters, cabbage, sweet taters, root veggies, and kept green tomatoes a long time. They also kept apples. Just be sure to build it with a good adjustable vent and monitor the temp and the humidity.
     
  2. BeesNBunnies

    BeesNBunnies Schnauzer nut

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    I had one built in east texas.....in red clay. That was a mistake! None of the contractors there know how to do anything underground with concrete. Water literally poured through the walls every time the surrounding clay got saturated.....looked like there were lots of water hoses in the walls that were turned on. I'd recommend constructing something above ground then hauling in sand to dump over the top of it and around the sides. That way you won't have the same problem I had.
     

  3. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

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  4. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

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    TimandPatti you are way north of me. The Huntsville area is in the humid and wet zone of the state. We suffer from heat, extreme humidity and we mildew and mold a lot. I guess the best idea so far has been BeesNBunnies about constructing one above ground. I would probably have to add a dehumidifier also.

    Thanks for all the info.
     
  5. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    About a mile south of me there was an old cellar dug into the side of the hill into the whiterock and lined with cedar posts and log front.
    A neighbor of mine built one into the rock when I was a kid. He did it himself with walls and ceiling about 14" thick of silo blocks( made of concrete) and mortared with concrete. As I remember it worked pretty well, they kept the potatoes under the house( the back was about 4 1/2 feet off of the ground.

    If you have a hillside you could do a dugout and would have better drainage. It doesn't get that cold in Huntsville very often, but the ground temp would still remain fairly constant.

    Ed
     
  6. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

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    Thanks for all the advice y'all. I guess I will have to come up with some other idea.

    whiterock I don't have a hill so I would have to build my own. :)
     
  7. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    We have a storm cellar built under the house that I had hoped to use for a root cellar, too. The house is on a hill, & there is a drain in the floor of the cellar that empties at the bottom of the hill. It has a concrete floor, cinder block walls, & a concrete top, & it is way too warm for a root cellar in the summer.
    The back of the house has about 4 feet of room underneath, so I spread my potatoes under there, & they actually stay cooler than in the cellar. :shrug:
    This year, I tried hanging onions under there, & they seem to be keeping pretty well.
    I'm going to try some fall potatoes, so maybe it will be cool enough when they're ready to keep them in the cellar.
     
  8. tenacrewoods

    tenacrewoods New Member

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    Hello Everone! This is first post here at Homestead so I say Hi first.

    They do Make a fiberglass type underground shelter with drains and
    vents that some friends have used in your area.I think it's made in Dallas
    so you can do search for underground storm shelter.You just dig big hole,
    set in and cover.

    MIKE :hand:
     
  9. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Actually, we had a concrete one put in June 2010. We live just south of I20 between Ft Worth and Abilene. We've covered it with about a foot of soil, and it's STILL hot in there. Cooled down nice over the winter, but that was temporary. It has morning shade, but nothing else, we couldn't put in the shade because of the big oaks that shade the house and didn't want them to die if we cut roots.

    We are still looking for a root cellar solution, we thought that might be it, but nope. However, it's STILL a GREAT storm shelter - it's primary purpose.
     
  10. Robbo

    Robbo Member

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    Moving from S. DFW to Abilene this summer. Where did you get your storm shelter from? (assuming you had a good experience and would recommend them.)

    Thanks,
    Rob