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I am considering building a root cellar in my backyard. Just wondering if anyone on here has ever built one or has one and if they could make any suggestions to make the build go better?

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I am considering building a root cellar in my backyard. Just wondering if anyone on here has ever built one or has one and if they could make any suggestions to make the build go better?

 

Kentuck:

 

Yowza... we LIVED by our root cellar on the farm when I wuz a kid.  There are some simple basics.

 

Vegetables require high humidity.  This comes naturally when you leave the floor as dirt.  But canned goods cannot handle high humidity.  Different kind of cellar for them.

 

Build the cellar so the floor is (best) ten feet down from the surface (of course, it must be a coupla feet above the ground water level).  This will give you wonderful temperature stability.

 

Vegetables WILL ROT if you do not have air circulation.  This is critical.  There should be an air inlet that goes to the root cellar floor, and an outlet that goes from the top to the outside.  You should be able to close them in freezing weather.

 

Build your shelves about three or four inches from the walls.  This allows air circulation.  Important.

 

That is about it.  At the farm -- this was back in the Olden Days -- we had fresh vegetables all fargin year.

 

 

 

 

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YIKES!!!

 

I watched that film...

 

Thassa ten thousand-plus dollar root cellar!!!

 

 

EEEK.

 

 

EEEK.

 

 

Our was somewhat larger, but a WHOLE LOT simpler.  But then, while we weren't on a mountaintop, we did have superior drainage.  No chance at all of flooding.  And there was one other big advantage:

 

The sumbitch was built in the mid-1700's.  8| :naughty:

 

Made for a lot less digging!  :P

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Well, couple of suggestions here KW, based on looking at the video.

 

When considering a subterranian structure, one needs to WATERPROOF everything. Before the container went in I would have put a water proof slurry on the outside, sort of like you do with a retaining wall. Also, the tar paper covered lumber isn't going to do squat, moisture will get trapped between the tar paper and lumber, and if it's not pressure treated, it's going to rot in a couple of years. Also, is the soil "expansive"? If it is and wasn't treated with lime or other chemical balanced mixture (to level out the pH) then the soil is going to expand and contract until that container eventually starts cracking, and at each crack, you'll get rust to start eating away at the core metal. The containers are "corrugated" to maintain rigidity in the structure and reduce shear, but if rust compromises that, it's done for. If you give me a somewhat location (the street you live on) I can run a soil analysis based on information from the USDA I have in my database. Also, you notice that guy digging a hole more than twice the depth of this guys height? That's a darwin award just waiting to happen. Those vertical cuts in the hole he's digging need to be shored up, or do the whole thing with a backhoe. Even with a backhoe, some soils won't support the weight of the backhoe if it's parked right up to the vertical cut. To be absolutely safe, any equipment or load on the soil should at least be equal distant away from the cut as much as the cut is deep. That way, all vertical load is transferred directly to the toe of the cut. If it's closer to the cut than the cut is deep, then you at least have to shore up the difference in height or you'll have cantilevered shear (horizontal load) that has a great potential to fail if not reinforced.

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Actually, I just need to know what county you're in KW, there's only three choices in KY, there crider, baxter, and maury type soils. You'll be one of the three.

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Actually, I just need to know what county you're in KW, there's only three choices in KY, there crider, baxter, and maury type soils. You'll be one of the three.

 

I live in Letcher Co.

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Don't know if this will be much help to you, but if you have a class A contractor do the digging, you might want to give him this info. This is a really BROAD survey too, I can narrow it down to individual parcels if needed.

 

websoilsurveyscegovetcher_Counties_Kentucky_Page_2.jpg

 

websoilsurveyscegovetcher_Counties_Kentucky_Page_1.jpg

 

websoilsurveyscegovetcher_Counties_Kentucky_Page_3.jpg

 

 

 

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Now thats cool Rocky! Thanks for the info. I talked to a friend this morning about hiring him and his backhoe to do the work. He wants me to wait to spring. I dont know that I will, but he thinks I would be better off.

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