Using A Cold Frame – How To Extend Your Growing Season With Ease!

Using A Cold Frame – How To Extend Your Growing Season With Ease! :- As I was getting ready to enter my second winter of producing my own vegetables, I finished constructing my very first cold frame. Despite the fact that I did not have any funds for a greenhouse, I was able to construct my very own cold frame by measuring, sawing, and screwing together some scrap pieces of treated wood and a window that was donated to me.

 

Using A Cold Frame – How To Extend Your Growing Season With Ease!

It was well worth the time and work. For the past ten years, my reliable cold frame has been put through a lot of usage. The wooden structure is still functioning as a miniature raised bed for veggies within one of my flowerbeds, despite the fact that the glass has been shattered and the polycarbonate that was supposed to replace it has been blown off by a tremendous wind.

Due to the fact that I recently found that gardening is more difficult without a cold frame, the time has come to either create or purchase a new cold frame. It was only after I had no other choices that I decided to construct my own cold frame; yet, even when I have a greenhouse, the cold frame is always necessary.

 

Extend the Growing Season

The end of the growing season, or at the very least the harvesting season, can be pushed back with the use of a cold frame for a large number of vegetables that are harvested late in the season.

Root crops like carrots and beets can be grown successfully in the ground in many regions with no more protection than a blanket of leaves. However, if a cold frame is placed over them, the soil will remain significantly drier and more pliable.

 

Also see :- Top 10 Best Roses for Gardeners to Grow

 

The fact that they are easier to dig up when you need them and that they are less likely to spoil as a result of this. Fill the frame with leaves to ensure that they remain extremely snug.

 

Start Seedlings Earlier

It is recommended that you install your cold frame at least two weeks before to planting early vegetables such as spinach, radishes, or peas in the spring.

This will assist in gradually warming the soil inside the frame to temperatures that are more suitable for the cultivation of vegetables that are grown during the cool season.

 

To achieve the greatest results, wait until temperatures are constantly around 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) if you have a soil thermometer. To guarantee that your seeds get off to the best possible start, this will ensure that the soil is warm and dry enough.

 

Harden Off Seedlings

Before being transported outside permanently, it is always beneficial to give all plants that were grown indoors a period of time to “harden off.” The process of doing this can be accomplished by simply putting them in a protected location outside for progressively longer amounts of time each day over the course of a week or two.

 

however, when you have a large number of pots and trays to move, this can become a chore. As an alternative, you should move your seedlings into your cold frame, which is a place where it is simple to harden off; simply open the cover for longer and longer amounts of time each day.

In the event that you are unable to be there during the day to open and close the lid, you can circumvent this situation by gradually extending the distance that your cold frame lid is open by gradually.

 

The first day, only a small crack will be opened. If it is a lid that slides down rather than one that drops down, you can open it the tiniest amount possible by inserting a tiny piece of wood or something similar.

The following day, open it a little bit further, and the day after that, open it even more. However, make sure you remember to shut it down before the temperatures drop significantly in the evening. It should be the first thing you do when you get home from work; dinner can wait till you get home.

 

Using a Cold Frame to Overwinter Plants

A number of plants that are capable of overwintering can spend their entire lives in a cold frame. During the late summer, hardy salad leaves such as winter lettuce, mizuna, and corn salad (also known as lamb’s lettuce or mache) can be planted in the frame.

These salad leaves will remain in excellent condition throughout the winter. Covering up even the most hardy leaves, which are resistant to all but the most severe weather conditions (claytonia and winter purslane are two examples that immediately come to mind), is beneficial, even if it is just to prevent snow from falling on them so that you can find them and harvest them.

 

There are some corn salad seedlings that were planted late, and I am currently protecting them with a temporary cage made of bricks that has two small panes of glass on top of them. With the help of this straightforward structure.

they will be protected from the harshest winter weather, which will allow them to reach harvestable size a little bit sooner before spring arrives.

 

Alternately, you might containerize plants that are just marginally hardy and then set them inside your frame. Certain plants, such as rosemary, are able to survive in mild temperatures.

but they cannot survive in conditions that are persistently cold and wet. They will be grateful for a winter residence that is warmer and drier.

 

In order to limit the number of air gaps that can produce cold pockets, it is preferable to have as many plants as possible in the space. When I was traveling with a coolbox for food, I discovered that it was helpful to fill any holes with newspaper that had been scrunched up.

This helped to slow down the rate at which the coolbox heated up. When it comes to a cold frame, the same idea applies, only in the opposite direction.

 

To fill up gaps and assist in insulating the plants that are contained within the frame, you can make use of mulch, fallen leaves, or even newspaper that has been crumpled up.

 

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