by John Musser
In our ASEL Eco micro garden, I developed what I call, “micro climate areas.” After years of successful use, I realized a lot of people have never grown crops outside in the winter months! We also have a Barrel Ponics greenhouse for all the crops we can handle in winter months. However, many do not have these items and cold frames or hot frames are the answer. Whether you have a greenhouse or not, you can garden all year long.
A cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure
In agriculture and gardening, a cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure, built low to the ground, used to protect plants from adverse weather, primarily excessive cold or wet. The transparent top admits sunlight and prevents heat escape via convection that would otherwise occur, particularly at night. Essentially, a cold frame functions as a miniature greenhouse to extend the growing season.
Definition of terms:
Historically, cold frames were built to be used in addition to a heated greenhouse.
The name itself exemplifies the distinction between the warm greenhouse and the unheated cold frame. They were frequently built as part of the greenhouse’s foundation brickwork along the southern wall (in northern latitudes). This allowed seeds to be germinated in the greenhouse and then easily moved to the attached cold frame to be “hardened-off” before final planting outside.
Cold frames are similar to some enclosed hotbeds, also called hotboxes.
The difference is in the amount of heat generated inside. This is parallel to the way that some greenhouses are called “hothouses” to emphasize their higher temperature, achieved either by the solar effects alone or by auxiliary heating via a heater or HVAC system of some kind.
Cold frames are found in home gardens and in vegetable farming. They create micro-climates that provide several degrees of air and soil temperature insulation, and shelter from wind. In cold-winter regions, these characteristics allow plants to be started earlier in the spring, and to survive longer into the fall and winter. They are most often used for growing seedlings that are later transplanted into open ground, and can also be a permanent home to cold-hardy vegetables grown for autumn and winter harvest. (wikipedia)
Our Best Plans for Greenhouses, Hoop Houses, Cold Frames and More read more:
How to make a cold frame GardenFork.TV
Winter Gardening Using Cold Frames
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