For late varieties of cabbage the pit should be
long and narrow. The cabbages are placed in rows with heads down and covered
with dirt. No other covering is needed. The removal of a portion of this
supply does not disturb the remainder. (Fig. 6).
Fig. 6*––Cabbage stored, roots up, in a bank of earth. The
place must be well drained. The cabbages are covered with earth, but this
need not be as thick as for some vegetables, as slight freezing does no
Cabbages may also be stored by
placing the whole plants in a trench, roots down and plants close together.
The roots should be covered with dirt. A frame should be built around the
trench by driving stakes at the corners and placing boards against these to
form the enclosure. The construction of such a trench is shown in Fig. 7.
The boards are banked with earth and across the top of the trench boards or
poles are placed, supported by the frame. These should be covered with
straw, hay or corn fodder, for protection of the contents of the trench. Two
feet of the straw or similar material will be required in cold climates.
Fig. 7*––This shows cabbage, pulled with roots, stored in a
shallow trench, with roots down. The roots are covered with earth. The
stakes, projecting 2 feet above the surface of the earth, serve as supports
for boards or "poles which make an enclosure. This frame should be banked
with dirt (b). Across the top place poles or plank and cover with straw, hay
or corn fodder (a). Make the trench as long as necessary and any width up to
Mature heads of cabbage of long-keeping sorts, such as
Danish Ball Head, may be cut from the plant and stored one layer deep on
shelves in cool, frost-proof cellars.
For outdoor storage one of the
best forms is a mound shaped pit. To prepare for this remove two or three
inches of earth and line this shallow excavation with hay, straw, leaves or
similar material. Place the vegetables on this in a conical pile. Cover the
vegetables with several inches of the material used in making the lining.
Cover this with 3 or 4 inches of earth. As severe weather approaches the
outer covering should be increased. An additional layer of hay or similar
material may be placed over the layer of earth and on top of this another
layer of earth. In extremely cold climates the total thickness of earth
layers should be as much as 12 inches. Over the outer layer of earth pile
manure or corn stalks for added protection. To give ventilation have the
inner layer of straw project through the outer covering and extend to the
top of the cone. For protection from rain and snow this opening should be
covered. A board laid over the top and weighted with a stone is suitable for
this purpose. An idea of a construction is given in Fig. 5. (page
It is well to make several small pits rather than one
large one, for the reason that when a pit has been once opened the entire
contents should be removed. This form of storage is used for potatoes,
beets, carrot, turnips, parsnips, cabbage and salsify. It is well to store
several varieties of vegetables in one pit so that the opening of a single
pit will afford a supply of all of them. In following this plan it is
desirable to separate the various crops by the use of straw or leaves.
When a pit has been opened it is impossible to give
adequate protection to vegetables therein. For this reason those not
required for immediate use should be removed, placed in the basement storage
room, or other cool place, and used as needed. This emphasizes the
importance of making small pits, each one holding not more than two to six
Fig. 3––Shallow bins or shelves with board sides, for storing
root crops in cool cellar. The air of the room must not be allowed to become
too dry, as this will cause the vegetables to shrivel. Potatoes must be
protected from light.
Instead of making a dirt pit, barrels
may be used in which to place vegetables (Fig. 8. page 29) Make a slight
depression the length of the barrel and put in a thick layer of straw or
leaves. On this place the barrel. Cover the barrel with successive layers of
straw or leaves, and dirt. As the weather grows colder put on more dirt
until there is from 14 to 18 inches of covering. For ease in opening make a
door at one end, against which pile earth and manure of sufficient thickness
to prevent freezing.