Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yet Another One?

      What's wrong with this picture?  Well, one, the compost bin was made with wood scraps that were too small for the task.  Two, the glass panes are leaning on this pile that could shift and result in broken glass.  Three, we are supposed to get high winds which could obviously send the glass panes kiting around the park.  But, four, it is supposed to be a low of 13 degrees tonight, so that is just a waste of the glass.
       Voila, I've talked myself into another cold frame.  Needs to be made today.  In the 28 degree weather with a biting wind.  So where to start?

      I could enclose this portion of bed, but the lettuce is not top quality, already suffering leaf burn from too much exposure.  And the leeks would be too tall for the frame and touch the glass, a major no no.

      This section of bed contains a couple of nice red lettuce plants and some cole crops.  The garlic should do fine uncovered.  Just a variety of stuff.  So it too fails the cold frame lottery drawing.

      Ah, but this little bed is just right.  It contains patches of arugula and tatsoi, which might survive, but I am happy to coddle them.  There are a couple of nice looking cole volunteers that I am also happy to protect.  And some lucky garlic.  It should be fun to see how garlic does in a cold frame.  As an aside, a head of garlic that I broke up last night to separate cloves was absolutely gorgeous, with big purple hued cloves.  Turns out they were down right tasty too.

Instant cold frame, well almost instant - 1/3/12
      So just in time for the cold night, a new cold frame!  The two extra glass panels were put on top of an existing frame, as extra insulation.  These frames evolved on their own over existing beds, and are really too close to each other.  In the spring I will need to rearrange four beds into three, to have better path space between beds.  The soil under the wood chip paths should be great stuff, so it actually will be like a forced bed rotation.
      Tomorrow morning will be interesting to discover how gardens and cold frames cope with the first of the really cold weather.  I suspect that the cole family and allium family crops will be the only unprotected survivors.
      Rebuilding the compost pile remains a chore for another day.


  1. Ok, I'm afraid you are getting a little obsessive about those cold frames. Before you stop, please come to my house and make about 3 of them.

  2. Hi 4B's. Thanks for stopping by. I still have four sliding glass doors stashed in the garage. I imagine shipping to South Dakota would be huge. Not sure my cold frames would do much good when hit by your winter's worst.

  3. George, no I have not tried the Sylvetta arugula. Who do you buy the seed from? On the vinegars and oils, I generally make the oil when I am using it; just adding the herbs to the pan and letting it simmer a bit then remove. I have found that if I make a large amount of one herbal oil I end up not using it before it goes rancid. On the vinegars, I usually just put it in the bottle of vinegar for a month and then remove the herb. I have had it mold (on the cutting) if I leave it in there too long.