Cold Frame Update: Fully Planted!

Last week I did a trial planting of about 40% of the Cold Frame to see how it would handle a 12 degree freeze.  Figured they tranplants would be toast, but one never knows and I needed he room in the germination table.  Guess what?  They not on ly made it, but have increased by about 50% in size in the past week.  AWESOME!  So today in went another 80 transplants, about half this flat:

3 weeks old, in you go!

Awwww! Aren't they adorable!

The second shot give a good view of the soil that has been built up over the past decade on this permaculture CSA farm.  Yes, its that black!

About half the cold frame - its big, its bold, its beautiful!

I stretched the spacing a bit in the second half as the rye cover crop I planted last fall is being stubborn.  Despite scuffle hoeing, it is coming back more than I would prefer. 8″ centers or so to allow for later cultivating.  to have over a gross of lettuce seedlings in the ground on the second of March, with night time temps in the teens and 6″ of snow on the ground is still messing with my head.

But I loves it!



5 Responses

  1. Exciting stuff. I already stuck some seeds in my cold frame but now I am staring at my seedlings wondering which to test outside. Maybe not the tomatoes.
    Ooh I have some extra windows and some bales…….Gotta go!!!!

  2. I saw the construction of the cold frame in a previous post, how long did it take for the soil to thaw and come up to an acceptable temperature for transplants?

    • About 3.5 weeks until it was ready to plant. Frost depth was 3-4″, but I also piled up frozen ground for another 4-6″. The black soil negated some of this by breaking the albedo effect of the snow. Temp were fine almost from day one, but hard to transplant into frozen ground 🙂

      Nighttime temps have been in the 20’s on most nights, that is about when I would recommend using cold frames, – if lows are consistently sub 20 F then you need to wait. A single night sub 20 won’t kill small, hardy lettuce cultivars, but sustained low temps w/ cloudy days will be their death.

  3. I’m curious about the differences of planting early in your cold frame and your mini hoopty. Are there plants that won’t survive in the mini, but wiil in the cold frame? Or are they for two distinct different purposes?

    btw- between Jean pain, potato towers, and mini hoopty’s I plan to be eating good in a nice warm house (or greenhouse) for many years to come. Thanks Rob, your blog really hits the spot!

  4. […] Well, in any case, what to do with the tomato seedlings? The temperatures in the hoop house during the day are great  for them, and the light is diffuse, and a recent study shows that the quality of a tomato depends more on heat than on light. However, NOAA predicted a low of 36F. tonight, and a couple more such nights.  So this was the solution – with a nod to One Straw: […]

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