Cold Frame Love
Well, that didn’t take long! I am ALREADY scheming out next years crops. With the end of the garden season I always feel sort of a sense of relief that I can stop obsessing over my plants, and start obsessing over inside stuff. However, now I find myself pouring over my West Coast Seeds magazine and it is only November. All because of my *NEW* beautiful cold frames crafted by my husband out of timber scraps and our shower doors that I detested!
I have to say that they were completed quite late in the season - maybe the end of September? So, I feel the seeds I did sow would have faired better if planted a bit earlier on. However, the two boxes have provided us with baby arugula, spinach, bok choy and leaf lettuce for the last couple of months. Some of these were transplants from my existing garden beds- left overs from seeds sown in late summer, and some were sown directly into the soil.
But growing winter greens is only one amazing feature of these 100% recycled material gems! If I had only been on it a bit earlier, I could be enjoying late season radishes and kale all the way through the season. In the spring, I plan to start lots of my transplants in the frames, and then grow my heat loving plants like peppers and melons here, perhaps giving eggplant a try, too. Then cycle back to cold hardy winter greens.
For those of us who can’t quite commit to the full on greenhouse, the garden cold frame is a wonderful compromise.
Lasagna Up That Soil!
To create the soil for my cold frames, I did a lot of improvising as I didn’t have a lot of soil on hand. I dug down about 3 feet below ground level, and started creating a “hot” lasagna bed to create some lovin’ throughout the cold winter months. I started with a layer of fresh horse manure (collected on the roadside!) and layered this with straw, leaves, and other small yard debris like unfinished compost. Repeat at a ratio of 1 part manure: 3 or 4 parts other stuff! My final layer was some soil taken from my adjacent veggie garden. As the bed decomposes over the winter months, it will create heat and act like a thermal base for my greens.
Dawn Johnson - Stewardship Pemberton Society.
Currently expanding her knowledge in the ever increasing field of opportunities found in her own back yard. And, did you know that in Pemberton we can grow amazing celery? I didn’t either! Plant, water, and it just grows and grows. Bon Appetite!