Have you ever thought about how wonderful it would be to have fresh vegetables in February? Living in a region of the country where winters are cold, with fresh garden vegetables probably seems almost impossible, but in reality it can be, thanks to the ancient practice of growing in cold frames. A cold frame is simply four walls that are used to trap heat plants and shelter, and a transparent cover that allows light to enter.
By maintaining the proper temperature, heat, light, humidity and exposure element within the cold frame, the plants are renewed. Even the smallest of gardens can accommodate cold frame and offer protection to a variety of seedlings and young plants, succulents, herbs and alpine throughout the year, and the growing season is also extended.
Unless you’re a farmer who happens to live in a tropical area, which is not subject to cold winter, you should really think about building a cold frame, and here’s why.
3 Reasons you should build a cold frame
1. You can save money
The longer you can harvest vegetables from the garden, the longer it will save money having to not buy those vegetables in the market.
In addition, the cold frame can be used to start cuttings of favorite perennials and ornamental garden plants. Instead of buying expensive nursery plants, it can spread, azaleas, evergreens conifers, rhododendrons and various other types of plants taken in autumn to mid-winter.
2. To extend the growing season
The main reason for using a cold frame is to extend the growing season. fresh, lettuce and the like spinach are possible throughout the winter, the warm sun always properly utilized. The capacity of the land to keep the heat, combined with the heat of the sun, keeps the environment ideal for cool weather crops cultivation. cold frames also offer good protection for tropical plants during the cold season, creating a warm climate in the garden, and the conditions necessary for the plant to thrive.
You can also get a jump on the growth of the summer season, starting annual seeds in the cold frame. Is the perfect transition point for seedlings to prepare a little earlier than normally possible. You can acclimate seeds delicate plants if started before removing them inside the garden. In order to do so, you will have to keep track of the weather and plan accordingly.
Before moving the young seedlings in the cold frame, make sure you have several sets of sheets that have rooted well. Before planting in the frame, start the ventilation process from the hottest time of the day, keeping the shorter ventilation on the first day and then gradually increasing the time. You can say that your plants are acclimated to the new growth, dense and dark foliage appears.
3. Sowing the seeds early
Usually, you can only sow seeds at a specific time of year, if have to sow right into the ground, or on floors. But when the seeds are protected by a cold frame, which can be planted a little earlier. As the cold frame has a controlled temperature, this helps to get acclimated and easy transplant is done.
to successful seeds sown early spring or fall, be sure to get plants that do well in colder, such climates such as spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots and broccoli. If you sow the seeds directly into the cold frame, you’ll want to get the frame arranged at least two weeks before in order to protect seedlings. The seedbed should be evenly moist so you need to start airing the cold frame in order to remove moisture after seedlings begin to germinate. This helps protect them from extreme weather conditions and temperature fluctuations.
Deciding where to put your cold frame
Before you buy or make your cold frame, you must decide where to put it. The best place, according to Rodale All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening is a sunny, south-facing, which has good drainage and also it offers at least some protection from wind and other elements. Ideally, you should have full sun from midmorning to midafternoon. You can permanently set in a garden, or may be temporary in that it is put after use.
Before creating a cold frame in a permanent location, you need to unearth the first three or four inches of soil within the frame, replacing the soil with a layer of coarse gravel before adding six inches topsoil in which to ensure proper drainage.
The key to success is to pay close attention to the temperature – should be less than 75 degrees in the cold frame for plants summer and below 60 degrees for plants that normally grow in the spring or fall. If you need to reach a colder temperature, lift the lid to let air Many gardeners follow this rule :. If the outside temperature is over 40 degrees, hold the lid open about six inches when Top 50 degrees, take the lid off completely, but be sure to replace in the afternoon in order to trap enough heat for cool nights . On nights when temperatures drop below freezing, your plants in the likely cold frame need extra protection, you can do this by adding insulation on top of the lid – newspaper, straw, old blankets or what happens at hand should work.
The construction of the cold frame
While you could spend your hard earned money in a cold frame, there’s really no reason to do when you can put one together yourself quite easily. The walls can be made from almost any type of resistant material, plywood or concrete of hay bales. An old window makes a great cover, or could use plastic sheets tacked to a frame. There are a lot of great ideas DIY out there, including the following:
recycled cold frame window. This Old House offers this plan for a cold frame using a window recycled to the top, and is ideal if you are looking for something more permanent, since it is placed on a base of bricks .
Better Homes and Gardens just plan cold frame. This plan Easy DIY Better Homes and Gardens using widely available materials like plywood and poly sheets and only takes a weekend or two to build.
cold frame vegetable gardener. This plan results in a very well-made cold frame and incorporates a Uni-ventilation system that allows the top to be automatically raised and lowered based on the indoor temperature.
Mother Earth News cheap cold frame. This cold frame plan for Mother Earth News uses cheap materials such as insulation board polystyrene sheets and molding scrap, and fiberglass reinforced plastic or glass old windows storm.
The 3 Reasons you should build a framework of ideas Cold DIY + first appeared in Natural living ideas .