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Taking Winter Gardening to a new level!

  • Thursday, January 28, 2010
  • So my awesome dad gave me the greatest xmas gift of all time.... while visiting me in November her built me a coldframe that kicks butt!  With $200.00 and some old windows, he went to work on building this amazing mini greehhouse that is currently giving us Kale, tatsoi, spinach and beets in the middle of winter! Here are the highlights?
    • The entire cold frame has three separate 'cells' that have their own window that can be opened and closed. 
    • First two 'cells' are for growing vegetables, last cell is for compost.  Hope is that the compost breakdown action will help heat this frame just abit
    • Veggies I am currently growing are spinach, 3 types of kale, beets, and collards
    • Inside the frame is lined with a thick foam that is silver sided to reflect sunlight.
    • Back wall is lined with dark gray bricks to hold heat
    • A thermometer shows the air temperature (soil temperature is usually warmer)
    • Used weather stripping to make the the closure with the windows tighter
    So it is now January and the cold frame has been working superbly.  It has been pretty cold here...down to the teens- yet the internal air temp of the frame has stayed above freezing.  During the day it can get up to 40-50 degrees - so not so bad.  Someday my dad wants to add a cube heater inside that will turn on when it gets to 32 degrees.  For now though I am happy as I know the soil is warmer than the air temperature. Here are some pics:

    I will post more updated pics -- but I can tell you that this frame allows us to make green smoothies everyday!

    Winter Hiatus Over!

  • Sunday, January 24, 2010
  • I usually take a garden *break* after I have tucked in the garden for the winter until those enticing seed catalogs pull me out of my lull.  Well I am officilaly out of my hiatus as I just placed my seed orders yesterday and I am gettting SO EXCITED FOR Garden 2010!  As for my planning, here are some of the changes I would like to make:
    • Use my cold frame for some veggies that LOVE heat like my sprite melon
    • Grow alot more dry beans so I can let them grow all season and just reap the benefits once they are done (overall I am looking for ways to maximize my time and space out the preserving routine
    • Need to grow LOTS OF TOMATOES because I didn't have enough to can this year.  Fingers crossed I don't get the blight again!
    • Trying some new varieties that I haven't tried again and may put aside ones I always plant. So I think I won't be planting butternut squash again, I love them but they don't last the winter well and I found some more interesting squash varieties
    • Preserve as many cherries as I can! My favorite this year was my preserved cherries on yogurt. I only had enough for 5 jars and I need MORE, MORE!
    • Preserve my apples as 'Apple Pie Preserves'
    • Grow beets, beets, and more beets!
    • Get certified as a Square Foot Garden expert so I can teach! Application underway!
    For now, that is my plan, but it probaby will change soon!