Garden Cold Frame Gardening

 Cold Frame Gardening

Cold Frame Gardening
 Cold Frame Gardening

During these short days of December, January and February  take advantage of every mild day to give your garden cold frame a thorough ventilation. Plants with green leaves are never really dormant unless the temperature drops to freezing.

Pansies and sweet violets should be flowering now, provided the temperature is right. Remove blooms instead of allowing them to decay on the plants. Whenever feasible, stir the soil, especially if you have to give water. If violets seem tardy in flowering, don’t be concerned. They’ll pick up in January, when the sun gets higher, if the temperature can be kept at 40° to 45°. In a lower temperature, flowering will be delayed until around March.

By now you should be picking lettuce, Chinese cabbage and cress, the current problem with them being to keep the temperature above freezing. Little further development can be expected from these crops, nor is it advisable to try to carry them through winter. Cress and radishes will go to seed as soon as spring growth begins.

If the wooden frame greenhouse is used principally for carrying plants through the winter which are liable to damage outdoors, that’s another story. Simply cover cold frames over with hay or straw and leave them. Allow snow coverings to remain. In addition to pansies, biennials carried over in this way include English daisies, forget-me-nots and Canterbury bells. Perennials carried over include chrysanthemums and red-hot-pokers (kniphofia).

The gardening cold frame design offers yet another possibility for usefulness… the propagation of trees and shrubs by means of hardwood cuttings. These are cuttings taken after leaf fall and after plant tissue has been subject to several frosts. The list of plants suitable for propagation by hardwood cuttings is extensive. It includes the mockorange, butterfly-bush, privet, chaste-tree (vitex) , rose-of-Sharon, willow, deutzia, weigela, false-spires (sorbaria), jetbead, flowering quince, hydrangea, tamarisk and many others. Currants, grapes and gooseberries are propagated by this method also.

Although the garden cold frame is ideal for this method of propagation, you may run into the problem of needing the frame in early spring for raising seedlings before it’s possible to transplant the cuttings to the garden. But the project fits in very well if you don’t plan to use the frame for seedlings before March.

Build Cold Frame

More Vegetable & Flower Gardening Tips With Coldframes

Gardening In February: Maple Syrup, Sugar, Seed Planting Dates

By February 23, if all hard freezes are over in your area or you have a way to provide supplemental heat to your cold frames or tunnel houses if needed, go ahead and plant young cabbage plants and onions.

Gardening With A Cold Frame

Not all of us (in fact, few of us!) are lucky enough to have greenhouses like this one to get us through winter. A cold frame, on the other hand, might be just the thing.

Cold Frame: Extend Your Vegetable Garden Season

A cold frame is a bottomless box with a clear or translucent top. It is set on the ground or over a planting bed to capture solar energy and heat the air, soil, and plants inside.

Cold Frame From An Old Window

But you can start seedlings around now, either indoors or in a cold frame like this one from Instructables, which is recycled from an old window. The window acts like a little greenhouse to protect the seedlings from the cold.

Cold Frame Calendar: Harvest to Table

As the seasons progress there are several uses for a cold frame. Start cool-temperature spring vegetable seeds and seedlings in late winter. Start summer warm-temperature vegetable seeds and seedlings beginning in early- or mid-spring.

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