It’s Time to Start a Cold Frame

Your garden doesn’t have to suffer during the cold winter months after all the hard work you’ve put into it all spring and summer. Even outside of the prime growing season, a cold frame garden offers a way for you to keep your garden producing without investing in a full-sized greenhouse. Cold frames are a great option during the winter months.

What is a Cold Frame?

A cold frame is a box supporting a transparent top that admits sunlight and typically lifts to provide access to the garden inside. The bottom gives access to garden soil providing the ability for crops to root and dig deeper. To ensure the best location for your cold frame, choose an area that receives both direct sunlight and a well-drained location. You might want to choose a location close to the house so you’re not walking too far in the cold, winter months.

Food for thought… on sunny days, when the temperature rises above 50-degrees Fahrenheit, be sure to vent your cold frame to prevent the excess heat from wilting your plants.

Building a Cold Frame

There are many different DIY ways to make cold frames. From recycled material to things you have laying around the house – if you are looking to build a cold frame, you can do it and have your garden growing in the winter months. Here are three DIY cold frame ideas:

  • Windows: You can find old windows lying around thrift stores or being sold at yard sales! 
  • Straw bales: This is a quick, easy and low-cost way to make a cold frame. It doesn’t require building skills.
  • PVC pipe: Some gardeners prefer to be more creative with a fancier cold frame. Plus, PVC pipes provide a quick clean up at the end of the season.

Best Plants to Grow

To set you up for success, we’ve created a list of plants best to grow in a cold frame. For the best germination, identify your area’s average first frost date. To do this, first, find the days to maturity by looking at the seed packet. Once you do this, count backward to find your planting date.

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Green onions
  • Kale
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Mustard greens
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips

Don’t Forget to Add Life

When gro-ing in your cold frame, you want to make sure to give your plants the nutrients they crave. With Bountiful Harvest® your soil and plants will thrive with health, vigor and vitality that you simply can’t get from fertilizers alone. 

Bountiful Harvest® is the same field-proven, university tested formula that commercial growers have been using from AgriGro® for years, re-packaged for easy use by the home gardener. It is a 100% natural, environmentally safe prebiotic that contains macro and micro-nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and complex carbohydrates that benefit both the soil and plants production and health.

To use, apply it directly to the soil, seed, roots and plant foliage to maximize growth and production. Then, watch your cold frame garden come to life!

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SOURCES: Miller, Elizabeth; Miller, Crow.Countryside and Small Stock Journal; The Art of Winter Gardening. Waterloo Vol. 83, Iss. 2, (Mar/Apr 1999): 59.