Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Cold Frame

Kate, of Hills and Plains Seedsavers has been staying here for the past couple of weeks and has talked me into making extensive changes in the Kitchen Garden.

DSC_0001 The first change was realised during last week when I finally finished the cold frame I have been building in time to put our new seedlings in.

You might notice that half of the top frame is not covered in glass but in a piece of plastic.  This is due to a discovery I made during the construction that glass doesn't normally bend or bounce, preferring to shatter into several pieces......   Sadly, the local glass merchant could only then offer me 2 or 4 mm thick glass and of course I need 3mm!!!!!

Kate keeps referring to this thing as a seed frame but I've always known it as a cold frame.  We used concrete building blocks which we then filled with sand, toDSC_0013 give us some thermal mass, in the hope that the blocks will hold heat gained through the day to warm the frame through the night.

I've put in a maximum - minimum thermometer to record the temperatures and from day one we made a small  temperature gain over night of a couple of degrees.  I hope that gain will steadily increase as the weather improves and the blocks warm.

The frame now has a few things which I have over wintered in it and is ready to receive some new seedlings as soon as they are ready.


chaiselongue said...

It looks good, Ian. No doubt it will soon be full of healthy seedlings. The blocks filled with sand are a great idea to hold heat. We've just made one with wood, because that's what we had ... and plastic sheets instead of glass, because that's what we had. Didn't get a chance to experiment with the bouncing / shattering possibilities of glass!

Anonymous said...

How exciting! I hope to build a greenhouse or a cold frame in the next five years. I get anxious to start my gardens early.

Laura (France) said...

I like your raised sand bed for the cold frame great idea. I always cover my frame with horticultural plastic glass is too dangerous here (wind, pigs and clumsy gardener) but your frames look safely tucked against the house mine are out in the garden. All the best for the coming growing season