Efficient trash can root cellar – Stores vegetables in the winter

Trash Can Root Cellar
Trash can root cellar – Stores vegetables in the winter

Why use a refrigerator to store vegetables during the winter when you can make use of the natural (and free) cold weather temperature with a root cellar?

Root cellars come in different types, sizes, and costs. It doesn’t always have to mean a big investment or a big project and this trash can root cellar is a good option if you’re looking for something small, simple, and really cheap! A root cellar is a great way to store vegetables during the winter months because it takes advantage of the naturally cold weather.

Root cellars are typically underground, which helps to keep the temperature inside cool and consistent. This is ideal for storing vegetables, which need to be kept cool in order to stay fresh. Additionally, root cellars are typically free to use, which makes them a great option for those on a budget.

Trash Can Root Cellar

Got a backyard deep enough to bury a metal trash can? Great! If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard with enough space to bury a metal trash can, the next thing to consider is the temperature. Depending on where you live, the ground temperature could be too warm or too cold to properly store root vegetables. Of course, you wouldn’t want to ruin or spoil your root vegetables if your ground is too warm or too cold to serve as proper storage.

However, If you find yourself in a situation where your storage area is extremely cold, there are still some measures you can take to protect your produce. Insulation panels can help to regulate the temperature and keep your food from freezing. By taking these precautions, you can help to ensure that your food remains fresh and edible.

Do you think the trash can root cellar will work for you? Learn how to make it by heading over to the step-by-step tutorial linked below!

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You’ll need these materials:

  • Metal Trash Can with tight-fitting Lid
  • Lots of Straw Mulch
  • Stones
  • 4 Large Rocks/Bricks
  • Plastic Cover

And these tools:

  • Shovel
  • Drill/Hammer and a Nail (for punching holes)


When winter is fast approaching, making a trash can root cellar is the best inexpensive storage you can have. First, punch holes in your metal trash can using nails or a drill. This will allow for air circulation and prevent your vegetables from rotting.

Next, use a shovel to dig a hole that is large enough to accommodate your metal trash can. Bury the trash can deep enough so that only the lid is visible. This way, you will ensure that the can is safe enough to store produce. Make sure to pack the dirt tightly around the can to avoid any animals or pests from getting in.

You can opt to surround your trashcan root cellar with cinder blocks to help with temperature regulation and deter animals from getting into your food storage. Cinder blocks are a cheap and easy way to create a root cellar that will last for many years.

When storing your produce, line the bottom of the trash can root cellar with straw or hay, and then fill the can with your vegetables. Cover the top of the can with more straw or hay, and then cover the hole with a lid or tarp. But if you don’t have access to straw or hay, you can use other materials such as plastic covers or tarpaulins.

Well, what do you think of this winter trash can root cellar project? Will you be making your own version of a trash can root cellar for the winter?

Thanks to Earthineer for this great project. You can get step-by-step instructions here



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