Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Growing with the season

cold frames, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

Gardening is understandibly slow right now. Under these little portable greenhouses/cold frames lettuce and greens are thriving. Beets are flourishing. These little plants have been easy to fool, even with the below freezing temperatures we've had the last couple of days. There's no need to pull weeds and nature has been providing the moisture. I could get into winter gardening, if it weren't for the cold.

I happen to think Charlie's design is rather ingenious. The only flaw seems to be their ability to catch the wind and go flying. Far. Far Away. These houses are securely anchored to posts after a couple of blustery days set them sailing. We had high winds the night before last and the one frame that was not covering a thing, thus not anchored, ended up about an acre away in the woods. Remarkably, it held together.

They are neat and tidy, efficient and multi-purpose. I'm planning on removing the plastic in the spring and replacing it with wire. Then the little greenhouses can become little chick and duckling nurseries. They will also allow us to get the tomato plants out and protected earlier. And think how pretty they'll be covered in row cloth. Sometimes Charlie amazes me with the things he comes up with. He couldn't stand the look of my natty row covers and had to come up with something that met his high aesthetic standards. I have to admit they are much prettier than my hoops and cloth coverings. I'm pretty lucky to have him.


  1. Very cool! Now I'm interested--do cold frames *have* to have the slanted roofs? I've read it's to catch the sun better, but I can't help but wonder what would happen if you used a flat topped one.

    Sounds like an 8th grade science experiment in the making!

  2. I think the top can be flat, although the slant probably does allow for more light. It also lets the rain/snow roll off.