Cold Frames 3


We had a really ROUGH winter this year.  Normally our winters here in Boise are pretty mild.  Most winters we only get a couple of snow falls during the entire winter.  This winter, however, we had record breaking snow falls.  I think we broke a couple of records in all of recorded history!  My kids had 6 snow days and probably should have had a couple more.  We had one storm that called for such extreme weather that we filled up our bathtub with water (just in case).  We also checked our emergency food and water supplies.  It was a doozy.

Needless to say, I’m very glad that spring is on it’s way and while it is not quite here yet, at least the mountains of snow are gone and the sun shows it’s beautiful head once in awhile!

Last fall, I made a few cold frames to see if I could extend my growing season.  I made them out of salvaged wood from an old fence we took down.  I more or less followed the building plans in Elliot Coleman’s book “The Four Season Harvest.”  If you want/need an online building plan, you can find one here.  The lids of my cold frames are covered with plastic sheeting, 6ml thick which you can find here.

Here is a picture of the cold frames and the hoop house in the background.  Both were experiments this year.

Other than going out one time (on one of the warmest winter days) to see if anything was still alive, I pretty much did nothing to these cold frames all winter long.  And they kindly kept my salad greens alive for me…no questions asked.

I think I’m in love!

Cold Frames

I thought I would do a video to show you how the plants inside of the cold frames fared during the frigid weather.  All-in-all, I’m super happy with how they worked!  I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Who knew you could have fresh salad, straight from the garden in February?!?  🙂

Enjoy the video!

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3 thoughts on “Cold Frames

  • Slim Cochran

    Do I have to wait until spring to plant my green mountain multiplier onions,since I live in the temperate climate here in Houston Texas ? We usually have only a couple of light freezes during the winter months here. Planning on cultivating in containers on patio as we live in apartments. Any tips and suggestions appreciated;mainly want onions as needed for cooking. Dad always had multiplying onions all year in Galveston Texas when I was a child. It’s kind of a tradition,thanks for making these onion seeds available to us.

    • lnielsen811@yahoo.com Post author

      Hi Slim, No you don’t need to wait until spring if you live in Texas. Onions are very hardy…I have had onions survive the winter here in Idaho with no protection at all. Just keep them well watered as containers tend to dry out quickly. Soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting can help with germination. And give them as much sun as you can since the strength of the sun is less during the winter months. Good luck and let us know how it goes!!!