Eat All Winter – Build a Cold Frame!
Many people think when there is snow and ice all around, there are no green things to eat from the garden. Not true if you build a cold frame! Cold frames are like miniature greenhouses that keep cool weather vegetables alive throughout the winter. They can be as simple or as complicated as you want to build, and design possibilities are endless.
Cold frames can be used to get an early start on Spring vegetables, or to extend Fall vegetables into the Winter. When temperatures drop very low, most crops stop growing. However, if you have Fall crops already established in a cold frame, then you can harvest off of them all Winter. They keep frost from settling on leafy greens and root vegetables. When temperatures start to warm up again, cold frames add a few degrees, allowing plants to start growing inside the frame when it is still too cold for growth outside the frame.
Cold frame designs can be as simple as a sealed box with a removable glass or plastic top, and as complicated as a heated, hinged box that props open with a thermostat inside! They can be small, large, even in multiples segments. You can use scrap material you have laying around or found in the dumpster, or you can buy all new materials from the store if you like. Whatever you do, make sure your cold frame faces South – so your crops will get as much sunlight as possible.
Whichever design you choose, the Tool Library has everything you need for tools – hammers, drills, levels, table saws, circular saws, we even have an air-pressured brad nailer! Cold frames usually only take a couple hours to build, even the complicated designs. Eat healthy this Winter!