This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

sunlight for the cold frame

winter spinach
cold frame 008 cold frame 005
cold frame 006 cold frame 007

I pulled off the tarp covering my cold frame today and let the plants get a couple hours of sun. We are now getting 10 hours and 19 minutes of sunlight per day here in the Boston area. Theoretically enough for plants to grow. Only its too cold. Tonight's predicted low is 5*F (-15*C). Brr. The cold frame never goes much below 25*F.

Its my first year with a cold frame and I think the plants look surprisingly good. Especially the spinach. I will try to give it a few hours of sunlight daily now and see if I can get it to start growing.

It looks like I should bring out a bucket of water for the dry soil.



Blogger Rob said...

Be careful about watering your plants when it is so cold. I think that if the plants become to hydrated, it will make them more likely to have frost damage from the freezing temps. Your plants really look great!

February 09, 2011 11:53 PM

Blogger Lynda said...

Your plants look amazing!

February 10, 2011 1:03 AM

Blogger meemsnyc said...

I'm so amazed at how green your plants look in the cold frame! Wonderful!

February 10, 2011 2:01 AM

Anonymous Jay said...

I think the soil temperature has to be above 12 c for nutrients to start breaking down.

Your spinach looks beautiful!

February 10, 2011 6:41 AM

OpenID henbogle said...

You could just sprinkle a little snow about in their on a regular basis. It will provide slow consistent moisture, and maybe a little N, too.

February 10, 2011 7:09 AM

Blogger Mal's Allotment said...

I do hope your plants will respond to the special attention you are lavishing on them.

I've started some lettuce and I'm moving the tray indoors (for warmth) and out (for light) like a neurotic parent

February 10, 2011 5:13 PM

Blogger buffalo said...

I am really surprised that *anything* can grow, given the temps!

February 10, 2011 6:38 PM

Blogger Jason said...

They do look really great for such cold temps and no added heat.

February 10, 2011 9:12 PM

Blogger kathy said...

henbogle, I like the snow idea! Much easier than lugging a bucket of water out there. Thanks.

February 10, 2011 9:31 PM

Blogger Jody Morris said...

Hi, my name's Jody. My wife Belinda and I just discovered your blog. We love it! We're avid but somewhat inexperienced gardeners living in south central Pa. Your blog is an inspiration. We too recently planted seeds under lights. We have onions, kale, Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

When did you plant that beautiful spinach and other stuff in your cold frame?

February 12, 2011 11:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of your plants have been in the cold frame for 4-5 month and have experienced shock. You may not want to hear this but sometime it's best to turn the soil and put in a heater cable and start FRESH! Remember spring is right around the corner and old plants will have a tendency to bolt.

February 16, 2011 7:33 AM

Anonymous Clint said...

I think your doing a great job and I'm stoked to have found this blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

February 17, 2011 4:27 PM

Anonymous garden design sydney said...

The basic design of any frame is to provide a rigid structure that protects plants from wind and weather, and provides an angled transparent or translucent top that lets in light. The key to using a frame is to let in natural light from outdoors, instead of using grow lights or fluorescent lighting indoors.

garden design sydney

February 26, 2011 2:49 AM


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