I put my beets into the root cellar a different way this year. Last year, I had a problem getting the sand to dry and its wetness caused the beets and carrots to rot. Very disappointing. Never had happened before. The place I got my sand used to let me into their lot; I waited for a dry period and scooped the sand off the top of their mountains. Last fall, there was a new system. They put several bucket loads in a bin out front and asked me to take it from there. Alas, it was so wet!
My neighbor, Nancy, came to the rescue with a novel idea. She puts her beets and carrots in damp wood chips. It makes the buckets a lot less heavy than using sand so I decided to try it.
I pulled the beets, cut off the tops and let them sit in the Sun on the picnic table for an hour or so.
Then I dampened some wood chips and put them at the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket (“Not sopping wet, just damp” she said.)
Dusting the dirt off of the beets, I placed them on top of these chips but not touching each other.
I covered these beets with more damp wood chips and repeated the process.
Then I did it again.
And again until I was at the top of the bucket.
I covered this with damp wood chips, put on the lid and placed it in my root cellar. It was so much lighter and easier to move than the ones with sand had been. I actually put all of the beets in the first picture into this 5 gallon bucket.