A question for you far northern growers

hey folks. this is the 1st time ive ran out of room in my freezer in the garage so i bought a used fridge to put next to it. my question is if i put stuff in the fridge section, like potatoes that i dont want frozen, will the fridge protect them from freezing? the garage isnt heated and routinely gets down to the -0 outside temps. ive already turned it down to the warmest setting. thinking the insulation should protect the contents… what’s your experiences?

I assume the potatoes will freeze.


I think it’d work for a few weeks, but then they’d go below 30 eventually. If you had a small light bulb that stayed on inside the 'fridge…I think that might make the difference. You could always put the potatoes in hell (a hole in the ground, in other words)…and cover in straw, dirt, and a tarp or tin or something to keep rain and snow melt out? How deep is your average freeze depth?


What they said. Even if they don’t freeze spuds aren’t at their best if stored very cold.

I just put my potatoes on trays in a cool room, and they keep much of the winter. They also dehydrated well. We couldn’t tell them from fresh in stews and casseroles made in our motor home.


Recall having to break ice in the waterbucket in the kitchen…to get the dipper loose…and get a drink. Needless to say the potatoes sitting on the floor got cold.
But, they still were good fried…though baked or mashed, there were hard and some black lumps in the potatoes. Had no fridge…nor no electric. In the 1960’s.

Well you won half the battle already with the insulated cabinet.

Look up Thermo cube or similar. It is a receptacle used on chicken coops and other places you want some sort of heater to come up. The one you want would probably come up at 35f and shut down at 45f. On an enclosed refrigerator cabinet even an incandescent 100w light bulb ought to be enough but if not a dedicated heating lamp would pump a good amount of heat


i have the front room that stays about 60-65 but thats still a little warm. if i use my grow tent in there its then the warmest room. i guess once it gets below freezing i could unplug the fridge and put a small light in there to keep the fridge section from freezing but then id have to worry about my freezer compartment that’s above it thawing. i may need to dehydrate a bunch to extend the shelf life. just trying to save some work. wish i had a cellar like normal people. :wink:

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depending on snow cover and temps but ive seen it to 6ft.

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So it all depends on how cold it gets in the garage. If the garage is running the same as outside temps then stuff in the fridge may freeze. But if the garage moderates the below 0F temps some then it may work.

An anecdote: before we met, my wife lived in a log cabin in upstate NY. She tells how water left out in the kitchen would freeze overnite; she kept her vegies in the fridge there to keep them from freezing and it worked. There was some insulation and she did build fires in the adjacent main room during the day, so that moderated it some.

I suspect it might work for you, but you’d have to do some experimenting to figure out how long and cold it needs to be outside before its a concern for the stuff in the fridge. A few thermometers and a pad of note paper. At worst, a small night lite in the fridge section for the worst nights, I would expect (but I don’t know your weather or garage).


Regarding the light for keeping the potatoes above freezing- is it possible that the light would begin the process of turning the potatoes green (adding arsenic, right?) which is not desirable?

Also, to play devil’s advocate on the initial question posed; for potatoes specifically, why not just prep them for the ways you expect to cook them and just let them freeze over the winter? This falls under the assumption that 1. you would have enough room in the other freezers once temperatures warm up in the spring that you could transfer said spuds to their new location and 2. this applies to potatoes, not necessarily everything that would go in the fridge.

An additional thought - keeping potatoes super cold (fridge temperatures) might actually reduce shelf life, correct?

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