But wait! Didn't I recently read an article by Eliot Coleman on cold frame gardening?! You can also read it if you click on this link:
Oh, and by the way, if you're wondering what you can get me for Christmas, I would really love to have this book:
or this one will suffice....
After researching cold frame gardening, I felt confident that we could turn one of our raised beds into a lettuce producing factory.
I made out a honey-do list and batted my eyes at my man. The next thing you know, he got right to work! Oh how I love that man!
We....ummmm....HE started with one of our existing raised beds.
We chose this one because it already had some mature kale plants and green onions. Both fair well in cold weather.
Next he took 10, one foot each, rebar pieces and placed them inside each of the four corners of the raised bed, spacing them 2 feet apart along both sides of the bed.
Next he measured and cut 5 pieces of 1/2 inch pvc piping, 8 feet each. He then attached the piping from each piece of rebar directly across the top of the bed to another piece of rebar.
Well at least someone offered to lend him a hand!
Next comes the fun part. He, with the help of his lovely assistant, measured enough heavy plastic to cover the bed. This was about a 10' x 14' piece if 6 mil. plastic. The bed is 4' x 8'.
Next they covered the bed with the plastic piece.......
And used heavy screws and bungee cords to attach the plastic to the frame of the raised bed.
It's important to have a way to vent your cold frame so that the plants don't overheat. Even on cold days, the sun's rays can beam down and make the temperature inside the cold frame too hot if not vented properly. I open the sides and use heavy clips to keep the plastic sides open.
Next we added mature salad greens from a local nursery and herb seedlings from my daughter's indoor greenhouse, a light hut that she created out of a box, fluorescent light, and aluminum foil.
And there you have it! Lots of salad greens, kale, green onions, and cilantro to feed our family this winter. All for about the cost of $30.00!
So grab yourself a tall glass of sweet iced tea and come on over. It's going to be summer all winter long at our house!