Last summer my sweet husband built me a cold frame! He made it nice and deep, long enough to house lots of plants, and made an ingenious sliding plastic panel top to cover it. I just told him that I would absolutely have to do a blog post about how to build a cold frame, or actually, he would have to share how to build a cold frame!
What I especially like about the sliding, lightweight top is that it can be easily removed and left completely off in the warmer months, but on a day like we are having here today, where heavy rains and storms are expected, I can quickly slide the panels back in and protect my tender crops from damage.
If you’re not familiar with what a cold frame is, it’s something like a tiny greenhouse that keeps your colder weather or late season crops covered through the winter and lets you enjoy a longer harvest season.
At the end of the summer, I planted some kohlrabi, Swiss chard, chives, and celery in my cold frame. Everything survived the winter just fine here in zone 7a. I did not harvest much, unfortunately. I think my poor soil has the most to do with my plants scant performance. I have since added about 3 inches of beautiful, black compost, so I have high hopes now.
For my spring cold frame, I have removed the sliding top, and have planted quite a few new things! I left some of the Swiss chard to see if the warm weather might prompt new growth of tastier leaves. We shall see. I also direct sowed Winter’s Density romaine lettuce seeds, and Corvair F1 spinach. Then I also planted seedlings that I raised in my house under a grow light. You can read about how I do that here, it’s fun and easy! I planted bunching onions, Azur Star Kohlrabi, and Fordhook chard.
These are all cool weather tolerant plants that should do well in this early spring through early summer weather.
I love having this little spot to grow things right outside my door. My main veggie garden is set a bit away from the house, so I love being able to step out the door and see beautiful growing things.
I will do a post soon, with the help of my husband, on how he built this cold frame, and what materials he used.
Do any of you have cold frame? If so, what do you plant in there this time of year?