02 March 2010

Starting Summer Vegetables in a Cold Frame

I know it doesn't seem like it, but it's time to talk about planting summer vegetables - not full grown plants, but starting from seed - when it's nice and warm they will be ready for the garden. A lot of people have a sun room or grow lights or a greenhouse for their seedlings, but I don't - I have to improvise. Don't worry, I have a plan. I'm planning to build a cold frame, which is basically a box with a window on top that protect tender plants from the cold.

I've considered building them before, but it seemed like a lot of work for not too much benefit, especially around here. I decided I needed a lot of space if I was going to grow warm season vegetables from seed this year. I've tried this in the past and had better luck each year. What I'm planning to do this year is build a cold frame out of concrete blocks and old windows. I brought this up with Darren and he thought it sounded like a good idea. The concrete blocks will warm up during the day and let off that heat at night, and the window would help hold that heat in, but during the day I would need to crack the windows open so it doesn't get too hot.

Originally I planned to put it in the backyard, setting up concrete blocks on the lawn, but I thought of a better idea. I still have at least three more raised beds to build (according to my master plan), so I should build one of those and use it as a cold frame before filling it with soil. So that's probably going to happen in the next week, and I'll start my seeds and be on my way gardening.

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