In the year round garden, when the going gets tough (freezing temps, winter storms, you name it!), you need to have a backup source of food, and more specifically, fresh food.
Even with vegetables that can extend your season (mentioned HERE) and low tunnels, once you hit very cold temperatures there isn’t much left in the garden. January through March is when I really struggle to do 100% backyard garden vegetables because of prolonged periods of cold, ice, and snow. I’m in zone 6b so if you are in a colder zone this period is probably longer.
Yes, I do have spinach, carrots and kale in the winter garden and maybe a few others. But when you can’t harvest a large amount out of your garden to supplement your diet, vegetables kept in cold storage or a root cellar are like gold.
Since we still have time to get some fall vegetables in the ground at the time of writing this, I wanted to get a list out to you of the best varieties and types of vegetables to store in a root cellar or cold storage.
I have lots more details on how to store your vegetables and more information on root cellars coming up in a future post. But for this one, I just want to focus on the vegetables and varieties that do best in storage.
First, a list of vegetables that will keep in cold storage. Some will last only a few months, others all the way through winter if stored properly.
Luts Winter Keeper- As you can tell by the name, this beet was bred to be long lasting in storage, no doubt about that!
Fuer Kugel- 60 days. Smooth skinned, striped roots are sweet and tender. An excellent keeper.
Crosby’s Egyptian-55 days. A flattened beet with smooth skin. Early maturing and excellent storage capacity for winter.
Diablo (Hybrid)-Tall plants with sprouts that keep well for brussel sprouts.
Brilliant- Easy to grow, long keeping, and delicious.
Oxheart- 90 days. Oxheart is another great multi purpose carrot. Not only does it do well in colder temperatures, it also stores really well!
Jaune Obtuse Du Doubs- A lemon yellow variety names after the Doubs River that flows through France. It is excellent for storage.
Danvers 126 Half Long- This is an old standard that dates back to the 1870’s.
Bolero Carrot (Hybrid) - 75 Days. Nantes type. Taste great even after a long time in storage.
Storage No 4 (Hybrid)- Ready in 95 days, this cabbage can store until spring in proper conditions. Grows well even under weather or fertility stress.
Brunswick- Not only is this one very cold hardy, it also stores very well.
Ruby Perfection (Hybrid)- 85 days. This red variety my not store as long as the green types mentioned above but it is and excellent storage type!
Mammoth Red Rock - 90 days. An old heirloom that grows very large heads!
Perfection Drumhead- 95 days, this one is an excellent keeper in cold storage and has beautiful crinkled leaves.
Softneck- Softneck garlic generally keeps longer than hardneck. However, it isn’t as hardy as hardneck garlic and should be grown in warmer zones.
K’s Backyard - This one I’ve grown in my garden the past few years and I’m amazed at it’s storage capability. It stayed perfect for almost a year!
Music- One of the most popular hardneck garlic types and for good reason. Not only is it flavorful and easy to peel, it also lasts a good amount of time in storage for a hardneck type.
Chesnok Red- This has a beautiful purple color and is on my list to buy this year! It’s an excellent storage type.
Hollow Crown- A favorite of mine. Grows large roots that sweeten after frost.
Helenor- Very uniform and high-yielding. Stores well.
Beauregard- An earlier maturing sweet potato with smooth flesh. Sweetens more with storage. Lasts up to 8 months when stored properly.
Purple Top White Globe- I’ve had good luck with this in my garden and stored them for many months after the harvest.
Waltham Butternut- A favorite in my own garden, this one is great all around. Resistant to squash vine borer and squash bugs. Lasts for up to 6 months (I’ve had a few last 9 months!) in storage.
Blue Hubbard- 110 days. Known for keeping up to 6 months in the pantry. The fruit can weigh from 15-40 lbs
Canada Crookneck- 110 days- An ancestor of today’s butternut, it is resistant to pests and diseases and a super keeper
Schwarzer Runder Radish- Coarse outer skin allows for very long storage in the root cellar. Spicy and flavorful.