Patti commented that I should do a cold-frame post. I’ll tell you about my permanent one and give some tips. I won’t go into the construction of one because every gardening book I own has directions on how to build a cold-frame and there are 5,342 you tube videos on the same subject.
I made up that number, but there are a lot of videos on cold-frames.
Mine is a bottomless box that is made from 3/4 inch marine plywood and screwed together with outside deck screws. It was made to fit an old storm window, which died a few years back. I made the replacement frame and set into it 1/4 inch plexi-glass. Is everyone wondering where I got the marine plywood?? I ordered it from my plywood wholesaler, I’m a cabinet maker. I use 3/4 inch marine plywood for toe kick material when there is a water/moisture problem, say in a basement. I also use it for the 4 inch backsplash sub-strait for a plastic laminate counter top when there is a sink in the counter. Have you ever seen a plastic laminated vanity top with the backsplash swollen in back of the sink, the laminate falling off and a black mold line where the backsplash sits on the counter? This is from a particle board sub-strait, marine plywood doesn’t react this way. I have never painted this cold-frame and it has got to be about 10 years old. Outside all of the time and buried under snow from the snow-blower because it is right by the driveway.
cold-frame with removable shelves
When the seedling are small I put them on shelves so they are in the sun and not shaded by the box. As they grow I remove the shelves. One year my tomato plants were so tall, I had to dig out the dirt in the floor of the frame to lower them enough to close the hinged top.I’ve never lost any plants do to frost in my cold-frame but I have fried most of my tomato plants one year. I didn’t open the top on a very sunny day and the temperature inside got too hot for the plants. The outside air temperature wasn’t that high but the sun on the glass topped box was too much. I prop open the glass top to cool the frame down. If it is a beautiful day, like today, I just open the frame all the way. This year, with free-ranging chickens, I have to remember to place a section of wire fencing over the opened frame or the ladies will jump right in and do their thing. That would not be good.
Well, I would like to have a potting shed/greenhouse someday.
my potting shed on a really nice day 4/27/13
In my potting shed this afternoon, I was able to thin my lettuce, basil and leek seedlings. I also potted one sweet potato slip that had roots attached to it, that I cut from my sprouted sweet potato,. I cut off two more slips that didn’t have any roots and placed them in long-stemmed wine glasses (we are a classy gardener) till they grow some roots.
sprouting sweet potato
slips growing on sweet potato 4/27/13
cut off slip with roots
long stemmed wine glasses with slips
And now for the Rabbit. I have a wild rabbit that calls my back yard home, I think he/she lives under one of my large Rhododendrons. The chickens and the rabbit seem to tolerate each other pretty well. Jack will sometimes chase the rabbit off.
chicken watching rabbit from stone wall 4/27/13
as close as it gets
Does everybody know that if you click on my pictures they should enlarge??