Fall is the time for gardeners to store cool-season vegetables such as potatoes, root crops, winter squash, onions and garlic fresh, without processing, to be eaten all winter.
Here are 17 good gardening videos that explain how to store these vegetable into the winter. I selected videos that were practical and relevant to a home gardener. I also included videos on freezing greens (since many still have abundant crops of kale, spinach and Swiss chard in their gardens), popcorn, and apples. I realize many gardeners in warmer parts of the country are actively gardening throughout the winter. Check out my Growing Winter Vegetables in Mild Climates collection of videos for more on growing through the winter.
I also included a few videos on building root cellars. This is a broad topic with many videos showing how to dig a root cellar underground using heavy equipment or how to build one in your basement, many of them on homesteading channels. I decided to select a few small, root cellar improvisations that are more practical for a small home gardener that don’t require large construction.
So, store those veggies now and enjoy them all winter.
Videos selected and described by Charlie Nardozzi, horticulturist and edibles editor for Good Gardening Videos.
Carrots, Beets & Potatoes
Storing Winter Carrots by Scott Mudge in New Brunswick, Canada, demonstrating how to store carrots and beets through the winter in boxes in his basement filled with peat moss and using newspaper layers to keep the moisture levels high.
Curing Potatoes by OurStoneyAcres. Here Rick Stone of Northern Utah covers the basics of curing potatoes after harvest, plus how and why to sort tubers by size. (This video pairs well with his Building and Using a Window Well Root Cellar.)
Big Sweet Potato Harvest in Zone 5! by One Yard Revolution. Patrick in Illinois explains when and how to harvest sweet potato tubers that he grew in containers. He covers eating the greens and how to cure them to toughen the skin and make them taste sweeter.
How to Store Sweet Potatoes at Home/Freezing Sweet Potatoes by HomeClick. Here Kathy explains when to harvest sweet potatoes and how to cure the roots in an oven (for those without a warm shed, garage or room), then store them as you would winter squash.
Onions & Garlic
How to Harvest and Store Onions by GrowVeg. This English video talks about harvesting onions, which most American gardeners have done earlier in the season. Then it provides good information on curing bulbs in racks and storing the onions by hanging them in mesh bags. Plus fun tips on how to hang onions indoors on a string.
How to Store Hardneck Garlic by the University of Maine. Dave shows us what to do once the garlic is dried, including cutting the tops and roots, sorting the garlic by size, and storing them in mesh bags or boxes. (Don’t store in the refrigerator.) You can store garlic for 6 months if done properly.
How to Store Garlic by Learn to Grow in Washington State. Here’s Misilla’s short tip about where and how to store garlic, including some fun ways to store them with baskets, egg cartons, mesh bags, and paper bags. (I’d add we’ve had success storing garlic underneath upside-down clay pots in the basement. The clay holds enough moisture to keep the garlic fresh and provides the needed darkness. )
Squash, Pumpkins & Popcorn
Harvesting and Curing Popcorn by OurStoneyAcres. Here Rick explains when to harvest popcorn and how to cure ears (with or without the husk on) for 4 to 6 weeks. He then either hangs ears strung together or cures them on screens. You can store the kernels on the ears or remove kernels and store them in jars.
Apples & Greens
How to Harvest and Store Apples by Iowa State University. Good information from Diana on when to harvest apples based on the cultivar, seed color, skin color and how easily it can be removed from the tree. She shows the proper way to pick apples without break future fruiting spurs on the tree and covers the ideal temperature and humidity for storing apples.
How to Harvest, Store and Process Apples by GrowVeg. This English video shows how to pick apples properly. It also covers how to store apples in slotted trays, individually wrapped in newspaper in a cool, frost free location. It finishes by talking about processing apples for storage.
Preserving Fresh Greens by the University of Maine. Extension Educator Kathy describes how to wash, blanch, pack and freeze popular fall greens such as collards, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale and Swiss chard for use in recipes in winter.
How to Set Up a Root Cellar by the Tractor Supply Company. Rick talks about the conditions needed for the perfect root cellar you might want to build underground. Ventilation, temperature and water drains are covered.
Building and Using a Window Well Root Cellar by OurStoneyAcres. Here’s a good way for town or city gardeners to create a root cellar in a window well, which works well in Rick’s Zone 6 location but may need to be improvised for colder locations. He uses insulation boards and tarps to cover the top of the window well and demonstrates how to open the window indoors to access the root cellar and insulate that window with more boards.
How to Build a Barrel Root Cellar by Dean Leatherman in Indiana. This video shows how to store vegetables in a 55-gallon plastic barrel buried in the ground, based on information from Purdue University. He demonstrates the technique for digging the hole, insulating around the barrel, and creating ventilation. (He doesn’t recommend drainage holes and a shelf in the bottom of the barrel to reduce the amount of water in the barrel and unfortunately, didn’t post an updated video on how it worked.)