Friday, November 18, 2011

A Cold Frame and Winter Gardening

I decided to make a temporary cold frame this winter to test the concept. I built a simple wood frame and used a staple gun to staple 6 mil plastic sheeting to the frame. I wanted to test the idea and work out the kinks, so that I will know the features to include in a more permanent cold frame. I am planning to someday make a more sturdy cold frame with wooden sides and sloped top either with clear glass or plastic. Here are some pictures of my first homemade cold frame and some of the vegetables that we have been eating from the cold frame. It pick from the cold frame about every other day, which is pretty amazing since it gets down below freezing every night. The frame keeps the frost off the plants and warms them to 75F or higher in the day, which initiates strong growth despite the cold night time temperatures. I planted several types of lettuce and a number of other greens.
 1. Lettuces:
    • black seeded simpson
    • paris island cos
    • red sails
    • freckles
    • green and red oakleaf
    • lolla rossa
2. Endive
3. Long Orange Improved Carrot
4. Monstrueux viro flay spinach
5. Fordhook giant swiss chard
6. Cherry belle radishes

    I also have been doing a bit more reading and found that both carrots and parsnips are extremely cold tolerant. I recently planted some of the crop in the ground surrounding the cold frame as it gets warm enough in the day for them to sprout and grow.

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