Cold Weather Kit

Many people think that gardening season officially begins with the last frost in spring. But that’s really a myth. You can extend the season and get growing much sooner by using one neat trick in the garden – a cold frame.

Cold frames allow you to extend your growing season by a month or more in each direction: Before the last frost in late winter and early spring and after the first frost in the fall. In some climates, you can even keep growing all winter long with a cold frame. Best of all, a cold frame is an ideal place to get your tomato or pepper plants acclimated to the outdoors before the weather cooperates.

With our Cold Weather Kit, in just a few weeks you’ll be enjoying scrumptious salads and delicious spring produce long before your neighbors are ready to harvest theirs without a cold frame. Our kit, combined with a cheap and easy-to-make cold frame, make gardening extra-rewarding this year. Enjoy a few extra months’ worth of produce –now and once again come fall. Trust us, once you try a cold frame you’ll wonder how you ever gardened without it!

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Starting A Compost Pile

If you’ve never had a compost pile, this is the year to start! A good compost pile is extremely valuable to your garden. Think about it. What is the end product of a compost pile? A rich soil that is extremely high in humus and plant nutrients. Adding this rich soil to your cold frames, lawns, flower bed and gardens improves your soil and your overall plant production.

First step in starting a compost pile is finding a place for it. Find a place that is partially shaded and if possible, within reasonable distance from your garden. If you make a compost pile that is not in a convenient location you won’t use it. We used parts of old pallets to make walls for our compost pile and placed it in the corner of our backyard, in a partially shaded area. Its location is far enough away that it’s not noticeable to our visitors but close enough to allow us to easily move to our garden.

Almost any type of organic material may be used such as glass clippings, hay or straw, animal manures, kitchen waste and dry leaves. As you add to it over the course of time, make sure you use a pitchfork to turn your pile every week or two. You want to blend the different organic materials together. It is also important that your compost pile stays moist.

The time it takes to convert the raw organic materials that you add to your compost pile into nutrient-rich humus depends on a multiplicity of variables including climate conditions, type of materials being used, moisture level, and whether or not an activator is being used. In a few months you should have a rich, dark soil that your plants will love.

Don’t feel overwhelmed, it’s not rocket science. The important part is that you start your compost pile and diligently add to it. It doesn’t need to consume all your time. In fact, it takes very little time to maintain and the overall benefits are definitely worth it!


Extending Your Growing Season With A Cold-Frame

We are officially in Spring! As the temperatures rise and the snow melts away, you can start to work the soil in your garden. After a couple of weeks of temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s, we have started to rake our garden beds, preparing them for our cool-season crops.

One way in which you can get a head start on this year’s planting is by having a cold-frame. A cold frame allows you increase your garden season, increasing your overall produce production for you and your family.

Cold frames are relatively easy to build yourself. The most important part of your cold frame is that whatever you use for your cold frame cover, it needs to allow sunlight to come through. Using an old window would work. Some people use what is called Lexan, which is a tough, durable plastic.

The next part of your cold frame is the frame itself. Hay or straw bales are perfect for this! If you have some extra bales lying around or have a neighbor that wants to dispose of some, these work perfectly! (Plus, you can always use the bales for mulch later in the season if you want!) Other items you can use for the frame are bricks, cinder blocks, or wood. Make sure the frame is well-insulated.

Remember, you want to create a warm, protected environment for your plants. Make sure you put your cold frame in a location that gets a lot of sun. Once you have your frame set up, gently place your piece of glass on top. Make sure the glass is easy to slide off or prop up.

What can you plant in your cold frame? Pick out what vegetables you like that do well in the cold. Vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots or spinach are great for you to try in your cold frame. Who doesn’t want a fresh salad from their own backyard in February or March?

Once you plant in your cold frame, you will need to water and check on the air ventilation. Your crops can overcook if the temperature gets too warm in there. To prevent this from happening, simply prop up your glass covering during the day.

Cold frames are a great way to extend your growing season with relatively little work! Why not give it a try?

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