Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

My method of using a cold frame!

This forum really gives a gardener alot of new ideas! I have been planting in cold frames for many years but this year I think I made some big improvements! My cold frames become small gardens after I replant some of the seeds I starten in them! I m a gardner that likes to mix seeds and when they satrt i move them but leave some to grow all summer! i usually put a window or double lastic as a cover and take it off during a rain! Ths past week I dug several out that I used last year. There were some weeds so what I would do is dig the frame out about a foot deep! I would take the top 6 inches and start a compost with it to get rid of the weeds. the bottom 6 inches I would strain and put into a cold frame I just dug out! I added leaves rabbit manure and shredded paper and covered it with the strained dirt plus a little blood meal on the leaves along with some urea to generate extra heat! The top three or more inches was strained garden dirt mixed with the pine shavings! Tamped it down and added the seeds, lettuce cabbage brussel spouts and even had a bed with onion seeds and alsakan peas! I am going too make sever more cold frames this weekend! the strained garden soil with the pine shavings seems like it will not cake and looks great! I like to garden so much that extending my garden a month or more excites me! The cold frame will be my summer raised bed why not? Cabbage and broccoli seem tor really look healthy in a cold frame more than in a greenhouse! I also always add a dozen onion sets to everything I make outside! I wish I had 10 acres!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

The cold frams I have now have either windows or fiberglass pannels over them. I will make double platic frames this week to cover them better from either 2 by 4s or furring strips.. I have a roll of .8 mill plastic 10 by 100 and it should work great!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

Cold frames I planted two weeks ago all but one has sprouts up! I was suprised to see them so oon with the cold nights below 25! It may have been do to the compost under the surface made a little heat but whatever they are up! I planted lettuce cabbage radish brussel sprouts and a few other crops!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Frank,

Sounds like it's working well for you. I wish you would post some pictures.

Do you have a soil thermometer? I'm interested in the the temperature differences inside versus outside. Is the compost really doing anything or is the glazing the factor?

Interesting stuff, keep it up.

Eric

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

I put two new ones in this past weekend. The one I dug the ground down over a foot and added the leaves shredded paper some fruits and veg scraps toped with urea and blood meal. I covered it with 4 inches of strained garden soil mixed with pine wood shavings. I patted that down and sprinked carrot seeds an pushed into the soil 2 dozen onion sets!
+++ The bed was 3 by 7! I sprinkled some bought compost over the carrots and watered it some. I covered it with a new plastic cover I made with furing strips and double plastic .8 mils. I will see if it heats up if I can and let you know! I put spinach in the other bed and lettuce! I have about 8 or more cold frames now!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Sounds good. What is your outdoor temperature?

Eric

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

It has been 40 to 50 a few days but the night has been in the low 20's! Very cloudy most of the time!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

The double plastic cover I made with .8 mill plastic and furring strips worked great. I was at lowes today look at furrings strips and also looked at 2 by 3s which are a little stronger than furring strips but not as heavy as 2 by 4s so I may buy them for a $1.40 each cheaper than the 2 by 4s. Furring strips split easy using nails so I may screw them together overlapped to make a 4 by 8 cover!. This ain't work its fun!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

This ain't work its fun!
LMFAO nutz:

Alicemae
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: Minnesota, USA Zone 4

Never tried cold frames ~ I want to now! Have a bunch of scrap lumber, a couple of old windows, some hinges and lots of poly. Now I just need some carpenter skills! Question: what precautions do you take so as not to burn the young plants? In Minnesota the weather is unpredictable so when it's warm do you open the 'box top' a bit and keep closed at night?
I need to read more... so much help here ~ thank you!
Alicemae

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

Just don't seal t to tight so it does not get too hot. You won't have to worry about that till the seeds sprout! I even take the cover off when it rains till it gets a good soaking if the temp is in the 40's! I have not had anything burn from the heat. When it gets in the 50's I put a brick under a corner of the cover! because of cats I cover with a sceen later!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

baschwar
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:57 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Cold frame form low 4x4 bed + Chicken Manure

Hi,
I'm new to the forums and new to cold frames.
I have a friend that swears by them and I am excited to get one going.
I have some 4x6' beds that are framed with 4x4 pressure treated lumber.

I want to turn them into cold frames.

They are 4 inches above ground. Do I need to dig down?

I read in the first post that someone used a layer of rabbit pellets in there. Could I use chicken manure and straw in a layer like that?

I am planning on making a lid for the frames out of corrugated green house panels.

Thanks,

Brad

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

Chicken manure is great but bury it a little deeper and it will generate heat. Too much will make the plants grow to much so try not to use too hot or too fresh of the manure!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

User avatar
shadylane
Green Thumb
Posts: 456
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:42 pm
Location: North Central Illinois

I was interested in starting lettus and spinch in the cold frame is it too late to start this now? I would cover it with plastic but didn't want to waste the seed if it is impossiable this late of the season. Bobberman you mentioned "urea" to heat up your bed, can you inlightend your thoughts on that please.

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

Plant your cold frame now with lettuce but don't cover it till it gets below 30 degrees! lettuce can take cold to about 25 for short periods! Urea is not good unless its burried a foot deep and its side effects can be bad for leaf crops making them bitter! Urea woks better in april when the soil is still cold and it warms it some when placed at the bottom a foot down! It acts like chicken manure which works the same way!
+++
At the end of summer the ground itself is warm below the surface so it will keep for a month or more after the cold comes just by covering it! if you want to cover it before it gets cold place the cover so there are air vents all around or just keepm the cover a oot above the plants with a 6 inch air opening under it! old windows on top of a brick work great! Seal it better when it gets cold!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

Return to “Seed Starting Forum”