Sunday, September 12, 2010

More on cold frames

Okay, Sorry for not posting pics like I promised. I had taken some great ones and then misplaced my camera in my harvest bag. Thank goodness its still operational, Unlike the time I had an egg and my camera in the same pocket and the egg broke. Camera still not working.
Cold frames are great if you are interested in growing your own lettuce, arugula, radishes, spinach, kale, mustard greens, chard, beets carrots etc! The deal is, the crops you do plant must be established before the hours day light go below 10 hrs. So now until the end of sept is the very best time to plant. Plan on growing baby greens mostly. Lettuce will never head up. So when choosing seed choose seed that is good for baby lettuce like red oak, black seeded Simpson, Don't choose butter head. Trust me on this. Arugula and spinach are fine. You'll palnt now and harvest through winter.

Here is the material list again:
2- 2x12x8 one of these is your back and one will be your sides, cut in half and then cut into an angle to line up with you front the 2x8x8
1- 1x8x8 this is the front
3 2x2x8- this will get nailed to the bottom of the frame and removed as needed, This protects your cold frame from rotting and is very easy to replace.

4 more 2x2x8 this will be for the lid that will sit on top of the frame.
I use untreated wood because I am certified organic but even if I wasn't I would still use untreated wood anyway. It will last at least 4 seasons with only the bottom 2x2 needing to be replaced.
Now that you have all your materials, cut one of the 2x12 in half make two 2x12x4 Now mark each of these pieces so it angles down to 8" the top will be 12" and the bottom.

Here its ready to be screwed together. I use long strong screws so the wood wont pull apart when it encounters moisture etc, then I nail the 2x2 on the bottom. Nailing the 2x2 makes it easier to remove.

I also put a 2x2 or whatever extra wood you might have laying around as a brace in the middle this will help to prevent the wood from bowing in or out.

This is the lid that will be wrapped in plastic, there will be a 2" air gap in the middle which will make for great insulation during very cold winter nights.
No that your cold frame is done, place it where you would like it to live for the winter. Be sure the angle is facing south so you can take advantage of all the possible sun light. If you can, place it as close to your kitchen as you can so it wont be such a hassle to go out into the cold to harvest.
My next post on this will be on what kind of soil to put in it and the seeds and varieties I use, and I'll also talk about the do's and dont's of cold frames. So get this built within the next few days, it should only take you about two hours total. Also when I get to the plastic and the lid part if you live in Tulsa or close by I might have extra plastic I can sell you that would be just the right size for your lid so you don't have to buy a whole roll. One cold frame should cost around $40 at the most. not including the soil and seeds. and should last four or more seasons.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Hi Lisa. I was at the Wellness Wednesday presentation. I really enjoyed it. Here's my question: If the daytime temperature is in the 70s or 80s, but the nighttime temps are below freezing and no one is able to take off and replace the cover, the plants will probably die.. and to make this a question, I'll end the sentence with ... yes? I'm thinking of some holiday time when I will be away.