Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cold Frames

Cold Frames
So the next step in our journey to self sufficiency was to figure out how to get the most out of our growing season. We stumbled upon the idea of cold frames. Which is a miniature green house of sorts. Now there are several ways, effective ways to build these. We took a more permanent route as we wanted to have separate and more gardening space. We were able to make 2, 3x6 cold frames for about $40. Now granted we only had to buy wood and screws because we recycled out old sliding glass doors, but still these can be built very inexpensively. (Oh we also took the legs from an old prop we built. That is why they are neon green.)You just have to know where to look. Recycling old windows is the most common way to cover the cold frames. We were just lucky in still having the doors and that they survived the winter sitting in the yard! So we started by measuring the doors, and buying the woods. We took advantage of the free wood cutting service at Lowes and had them cut the wood for us, just to save time. (Which is huge around here with the kids wanting to help!) Andy then squared the wood screwed it together, adding legs. They are 3 feet tall with 16-18 inches of wood directly under the door. Added hinges to the doors,set them and FAIRY DUST, FAIRY DUST, FAIRY DUST we have cold frames!

The next step was to dig the holes for the frames to sit in. We did this because it helps to keep the plants warmer by filling the hole with about a foot of compost/manure covering with straw then dropping soil on top of it. As the manure decomposes it will create heat for the plants and provide nutrients! Plus we got the manure for free! Love free stuff! We did pay for the soil, but that is ok, $30 for a

truckload of soil that I know is gonna grow stuff, no problem. This was a huge job to do by hand, but thanks to my loving husband we quickly had 2 ‘graves’ in the front yard. I’m not kidding you, they looked like graves! Same shape, both a little over

4 foot deep and the bus drivers were wondering what was going on for a week or so. But we just have to plant now! And try to figure how to utilize these in the hot humid Summer of Indiana.

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