In my garden today: cold frames
Here comes the cool weather, so I hauled out my cold frame to help me with my secret desire to garden year-round. It’s time to plant spinach and lettuce for spring. If we have a long fall, some of the greens may produce under a cold frame, but mostly, it’s time to get ready for spring.
I have a simple cold frame in which I can keep salad greens growing pretty much until the end of November in our area, but this year I’m concentrating on getting the spinach going. If you get it up and growing, it will go dormant for winter and then start growing again in mid-to-late February. Come April when the snow is gone, there is absolutely nothing quite as sweet as fresh spinach, especially when coupled with the earliest of perennial onions.
And, if you have a portable cold frame, you can move it to another spot and seed other early greens, and broccoli, cauliflower and Chinese cabbage for stocky transplants.
The best site for a cold frame is a southeast exposure with some wind deflection. When in full sun, be sure to provide some protection from drying winds when the cold frame is open. Also, it’s a good idea to caulk wooden frames to keep drafts out. You can even back your cold frame up against a basement window and heat it by opening the window.
The most energy efficient cold frame is several inches lower in front so that the glass cover slopes from back to front at about a 30 degree angle. A cold frame that is portable or easily disassembled can be moved around garden as needed.
Check out the recipe tab for a deliciously easy recipe for Spinach toast