Many people think that gardening season officially begins with the last frost in spring. But that’s really a myth. You can extend the season and get growing much sooner by using one neat trick in the garden – a coldframe.
Coldframes allow you to extend your growing season by a month or more in each direction: Before the last frost in late winter and early spring and after the first frost in the fall. In some climates, you can even keep growing all winter long with a coldframe. Best of all, a coldframe is an ideal place to get your tomato or pepper plants acclimated to the outdoors before the weather cooperates.
What is a coldframe?
A coldframe isn’t anything complicated. It’s just a simple structure, much like a raised bed, that traps heat and shelters your plants, with a transparent lid to allow light in. You can build a simple coldframe with nearly anything – from wood to concrete blocks or even bales of hay! An old window, a shower door, or rolls of plastic sheeting will make a nice lid. Our coldframe (shown in the picture above) was extremely cheap to build using some wire fencing and plastic sheeting.
Most coldframes are around 3 by 6 feet, to allow you to reach all the plants inside the structure. Build your coldframe facing south in a sunny spot for best results. You can build a permanent coldframe, or you can make one that disassembles easily for seasonal use only. Some gardeners like to make a raised bed that will allow for a lid to attach as a coldframe when needed. Just like your raised beds, a coldframe should allow for good drainage. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to raise one side of your coldframe by 4-6 inches to allow for melting snow to drain off easily.
What can I grow in my cold frame?
- Root crops
- And more!
These types of veggies not only grow, but THRIVE when temperatures are between 32° and 60°F. Even better, some of these varieties, when grown in a coldframe, can be ready to harvest in as little as 25 days! Others, in less than 60 days.
The #1 Key To Coldframe Success
You can grow just about anything in a coldframe if you follow a few simple rules. For optimal success, you should pay close attention to the temperature inside your coldframe. Temperatures should stay below 60°F for plants that normally grow in spring or fall and below 75°F for summer plants.
You achieve the right temperatures by raising the coldframe lid during the day. When temperatures are above 40°F, prop your lid up about 6 inches on one side. If temperatures are above 50°F, take the lid off completely. Then put the lid back on in the late afternoon to trap enough heat for the overnight hours and protect against freezing temperatures. (You can even buy automatic venting coldframes if you so desire.)
When it gets especially cold at night, you may need to offer your plants a little extra buffer to protect against freezing. Place old blankets, straw, newspaper, cardboard, or even a light layer of snow on top of the lid to insulate the inside of the coldframe. .
Here at Heirloom Solutions, we’ve put together a Cold Weather Kit that will grow like gangbusters in your coldframe…right now! Imagine enjoying lush lettuces, crunchy carrots, and delicious peas in as little as 25-60 days!
Our Cold Weather Seed Kit Features
These 8 Heirloom Varieties:
- Green Arrow Pea
- America Spinach
- Paris Market Carrot
- Arugula Roquette
- Green Oakleaf Lettuce
- Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard
- French Breakfast Radish
- Bulls Blood Beet
With our Cold Weather Seed Kit, in just a few weeks you’ll be enjoying scrumptious salads and delicious spring produce long before your neighbors are ready to harvest theirs without a coldframe. Our Cold Weather Seed Kit makes gardening extra-rewarding this year. Enjoy a few extra months worth of produce –now and once again come fall. Trust us, once you try using a coldframe you’ll wonder how you ever gardened without it!
(*Note: Cold Weather Seed Kit does not come with a coldframe. You can build your own for just a few dollars!)
To order your limited time Cold Weather Kit of heirloom spring vegetables, simply Click Here To Order Your Cold Weather Kit.
To an early harvest,
Editor, Heirloom Solutions Newsletter
P.S. – You may want to go ahead and order 2 kits now at this special price and save one for fall when many gardeners grow a second round of “cool weather veggies.”