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Cold Frames Starting in Ohio

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Joined: 2009-08-11

Hi All,
This will be an adventure././././.
Setting out cold frames today. I am so excited!! First time trying this so we will see. I have been reading websites for our zone for months and this is the time to set out in zone 5B where we live. Building these down the side of the chicken pens and will leave alone for a week to soak up the sunshine to bring up the temp of the ground.
Then the seeds go into the cold frames in peat pots in trays. The cold frames will be lined with bricks on the back walls to absorb heat to release during the night. You can also put in gallon jugs of water for the same reason but we have some extra bricks. We are covering these with windows we received off a website for free and picked up last fall just for this reason. The windows are 3'X6' and should provide 54 square feet of heated space to start plants in. We also have 3 additional windows that we have so we are using these also for this reason. So by the time we are finished it should be about 100 square feet to start plants in. I will do my best to take pictures so we all can see the progress and keep a record for everyone but remember we work and have a lot to so. I am so excited flowers and veggies and starting the pumpkins in the beds with the windows off after we are done with the cold frames. I wish Doug were here so I could ask him how soon we could start pumpkin seeds. Maybe mid April??

Thanks,
Elsie ./.
:bigsmile:

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Joined: 2009-08-07
RE: Cold frames,,,

I've been wanting to build some cold frames too, I have some sections of fiberglass left over from the greenhouse that are big enough to make I think 3 or 4 nice sized ones.

I read a book called I think Four Seasons Harvest, which said to make the cold frames about 3 feet X 4 feet, which makes them big enough to grow in, and small enough to lift the lid easy.

But before I get to building the cold frames, I need to get around to finishing the greenhouse, and continue getting caught up on my rock picking,,,which has been going fast even though I have only been able to get back at it within the last few days.

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Joined: 2009-08-11
Cold Frames Starting in Ohio

We have the frame part built out of scrounged and scavaged lumber to fit the windows, 2 are the same size and one is smaller. The rest we will be kinda scattered across the back of our house but these 3 will be permanent. We will be using them as raised beds when finished. We did take pics but I need my daughter to download them, I am camera challenged.

Thanks,
Elsie ./.
:bigsmile:

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Ohio cold frames

Elsie, I wish you all the success in the world for your venture. Don't forget you can extend your growing season at the other end as well. Use your frames to grow winter salads and winter veggies.Take care the slugs don't get under those bricks.You'll find that fresh air is needed as well as heat so you may have to lift the lights on sunny(if we ever get any) days to prevent damping down of your seedlings. Goodluck.
Sussexman
All gardeners are natural dreamers

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Hot Beds?

Elsie,I have been reading a Victorian Gardening book about hot beds this may interest you.
You dig a hole that is 6 inches bigger that your frame and 4 ft deep. You fill it with a mixture of deciduous leaves and fresh animal dung treading it down as you go ( a job for your fella) till level with the surface. Put your frame over the top. When the temperature starts to rise you plant your seeds in pots and push the pots into the mixture. You will have to keep an eye on the temperature as it will get very hot in there. When you have get to early summer they make great beds for melon, pumpkins and the like. You can start these beds in the winter you don't have to wait for the thaw. This might be of interest to those of you waiting for the snow to go.
Sussexman

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Joined: 2009-08-07
What a Good Idea

Sussexman, who says one can't learn from history, the Hot Bed is a really good idea!

"Animal Dung" being "horse" most certainly!!

What is the name, date and publisher of this Victorian Garden book?

This is better than being at the whimsy of Spring weather. :)

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Hot beds,,,,,

I've read several older books which said the hot beds work good and gave similar instructions.

In a pinch, composting plant matter in there can work too, but doesn't produce as much heat, or begin heating as fast, and is best done if some manure can be used along with the organic matter.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Victorian Kitchen Garden.

Back a few years the BBC ran a series of programmes where they took a dilapitated victorian walled garden and using victorian methods turned it back into a productive garden producing fruit and veg for 12 months of the year. They also produced a book on it, but I'm not sure if it is still in print.
' The Victorian Kitchen Garden'
By Jennifer Davies
Published by BBC Books,
1st published 1987
Reprinted 1987
Reprinted 1088
Printed and bound by
Butler & Tanner Ltd, Frome and London.
If you can't get a copy I will try to email you the pages on hotbeds, but that will also tell you of the veg the vistorians expected their gardeners to produce out of season. It is a real fantasic book.
I also have up in my loft a gardening book that was previously owned by a Head Gardener between the WW1 and WW2 But that is 4" thick and to quote the front 'Covers every BRANCH of gardening' Honestly some of the 'small' ponds are bigger than the whole of my garden and some of the remedies would have the narcotic police breathing down my neck.
But about the victorian book it might be an idea to look on Amazon or Ebay, you never know.
Sussexman

Offline
Joined: 2009-08-07
Victorian Kitchen Garden.

Back a few years the BBC ran a series of programmes where they took a dilapitated victorian walled garden and using victorian methods turned it back into a productive garden producing fruit and veg for 12 months of the year. They also produced a book on it, but I'm not sure if it is still in print.
' The Victorian Kitchen Garden'
By Jennifer Davies
Published by BBC Books,
1st published 1987
Reprinted 1987
Reprinted 1088
Printed and bound by
Butler & Tanner Ltd, Frome and London.
If you can't get a copy I will try to email you the pages on hotbeds, but that will also tell you of the veg the vistorians expected their gardeners to produce out of season. It is a real fantasic book.
I also have up in my loft a gardening book that was previously owned by a Head Gardener between the WW1 and WW2 But that is 4" thick and to quote the front 'Covers every BRANCH of gardening' Honestly some of the 'small' ponds are bigger than the whole of my garden and some of the remedies would have the narcotic police breathing down my neck.
But about the victorian book it might be an idea to look on Amazon or Ebay, you never know.
Sussexman

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Joined: 2009-08-11
I am happy

to have the cold frame and extend the growing season 2 months each way. That is enough for this ole girl. lets the bones heal and the joints rest. I have heard that hot beds are wonderful. but we try for next year.

Thanks,
Elsie ./.

Offline
Joined: 2009-08-07
RE: Hot Beds

Thanks Sussexman, no need to email the pages, I think I can find the book. That
4-incher book must be awesome!

Elsie, there is only so much one can do ... I've caught myself over-extending like I'm still a kid and have paid for it. I'm thinking it's better to dig that hole in the fall before the ground freezes anyway!! ;)

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Joined: 2010-03-14
Larry in his rock picking

I am sure you meant picking rocks out of a garden beds... I found that sifting thru with and old fan grate is helpful to get rid of the rocks but remember rocks are like heat collectors.... that will help keep the soil warm.... I been just moving them to the walk way or at least under the hardy growing soils that I have made into the best with loads of sandy soils compost raw horse droppings that are aged along with saw dust that most use in the barns now days besides straw.

Just dig at least two feet down in the area you plan to garden move the dirt off to the side sift thru the dirt lay the rocks down at the bottom while the sifted soil builds up in a mound rake smooth the rock then rake over the sifted soil. The rocks will work them selves up of course in a few years time or you can dig down deeper to make the time longer that they will work up.
All my plants love them.

I had left and came back after 3 years and all I had to do to most is pull off the moss that grows just about wild all over the great north west especially over wood chips and that left behind great wet broken down wood chips to turn in the soil.

I all ways think of how to help the soil that we have by keeping it green and with hardly no chemicals.... By using natural products wood chips are one of the best I found to hold moisture and break down along with replenishing the soil with decaying matter Leaves Horse droppings or cow chicken sheep rabbits goats etc. but stay away from cat litter its clay and becomes a mess...lesson learned...special area for cat litter...I had sheep and rabbits and a miniature horse that helped build my spoils up.. now I found where I can get all the free horse droppings I need and that is really the most I need..happy campers I hope you all are out enjoying spring time as I have been...Sister Nora Smith

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Joined: 2009-08-07
RE: Rock Picking,,,,

I use the rocks I pick for water conservation.
Stone mulch etc.

Also picking rocks gets more of my property with smooth enough of a surface to mow it.

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