Cold Frame Fun!

IMG_20160219_134124772_HDRIn fall 2014 we built our cold frames and had minimum success. I planted too late and it was too wet. There are no failures, simply lessons right? Some tweaks (and education) were needed!

I learned that I need 10 hours of daylight for germination and first growth. I learned that soil temps can’t barely be 40 and while damp is good, sopping soil is not. 🙂

IMG_20151026_172215996In Fall 2015 we adjusted the dates and did not plant in soil that was too cold and too wet! Those little adjustments have meant great success this year and we have had much fun eating fresh greens in Indiana throughout the winter!

Beautiful kale, spinach, chard, mizuna, beets, radishes and lettuce have been bountiful and we have benefited immensely on the dinner plate because of it!

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A couple of our boxes had such overwhelming growth that we added a second layer. Then they were still too short! Our spinach hit the glass and on some very, very cold days got frost bit under the glass and died. Honestly though, I cannot even see that as a failure— I mean having the spinach so out of control that it was bigger than a 12 inch high cold frame seems pretty awesome actually!

IMG_20160219_134117464_HDRToday was 60 degrees. We went out and gathered some kale and lettuce for dinner. What fun to do in February! While I was out there however in the warm temperatures I had an impulse… yep I had to plant some seeds! And I just happened to have some spinach seeds on me (don’t we all carry seeds in our pockets?)

So down I went and I pulled out of the soil the frost bitten spinach. The soil thermometer told me the soil was 45 degrees. I opened three of my spinach packs, drug my finger along to make a little trench and well… my first planting of the season!

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Well can you blame me? The previous spinach can decompose in the box and I am hoping I will be seeing some new growth here in the future!

Does the gardening bug have you?

Happy gardening!

FGU

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