Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Building a Cold Frame

We've had a pretty mild winter here in Northern California with only about 2 inches of rain in January.  So we've been itching to get into the garden.  Unfortunately with our sloping lot, the yard is a cold dark place during the winter.  We thought we'd do something about it and decided to build a cold frame for the raised beds.

Our idea was to cover half the bed with a removable frame that could also be placed over the compost in the summer to speed decomposition with a little heat.

The materials were fairly inexpensive.  Some (fir I believe) strapping, brackets, screws, staples and a painters plastic drop cloth.

Well I've got to say the results have been a huge success.  Our lettuce (Grand Rapids) sprouted and we even harvested our first head yesterday.  Is it really February?  I even became bold enough to plant tomato seeds (Roma and Stupice) in front, after I placed a Thermometer inside the frame and it showed the temp at 82 degrees.  Perhaps that was wishful thinking, but if I fail I've only lost the cost of a few seeds.

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