It has been such a mild summer here, a bit rainy though. I dread thinking about the winter coming, but having lived in Ohio all of my life, it is just to be expected.
While the weather is still nice, you should start working on your cold frames to overwinter your plants. If you already have cold frames, check them thoroughly to make sure they are ready for all of your baby plants.
A cold frame is very simple and has been used for centuries of gardening in areas with not so clement weather. Historically, cold frames were used in conjunction with greenhouses, usually built next to the greenhouse or home to harden off plants grown in the greenhouse before planting.
The cold frame should have a clear or transparent cover and be placed where it can receive the most sunlight with zero to minimal shade. The sun enters the cold frame through “the window” and warms the soil even on chilly days. Ventilation is as necessary as good drainage. You may have to watch the temperature inside the cold frame and prop open the lid if it gets above 80 degrees inside.
On very cold nights you can cover the cold frame with blankets for added warmth and protection of your young plants.
You can use your cold frame in many ways throughout the year.
- Overwintering dormant plants
Extending the growing season
Hardening off young seedlings
- Give seedlings an early start
Here are a few DIY Cold Frame Ideas.
bob miller says
Can you use moisture crystals in rooting your starts?
I’ve never heard of anybody doing that and I truly believe it would do more harm than good. The basics that I teach are tried and true by growers who have been at this for two or three generations.
Gloria Feliciano says
I learned a lot from your email