Monday, November 12, 2012

Our Winter Garden

The long days of summer are behind us, and with them are also gone some of my favorite past times such as:  sipping sweet iced tea from my front porch rockers, catching fireflies until dark, eating ice cream cones with the kids (well...maybe I'll keep this past time going all winter long!), and harvesting the wonderful, fresh, produce from our lovely raised bed gardens.  Sigh!  Oh how I will miss my gardens!

But wait! Didn't I recently read an article by Eliot Coleman on cold frame gardening?!  You can  also read it if you click on this link:

Oh, and by the way, if you're wondering what you can get me for Christmas, I would really love to have this book:
or this one will suffice....
After researching cold frame gardening, I felt confident that we could turn one of our raised beds into a lettuce producing factory.
I made out a honey-do list and batted my eyes at my man.  The next thing you know, he got right to work!  Oh how I love that man!
We....ummmm....HE started with one of our existing raised beds. 

We chose this one because it already had some mature kale plants and green onions.  Both fair well in cold weather.
Next he took 10, one foot each, rebar pieces and placed them inside each of the four corners of the raised bed, spacing them 2 feet apart along both sides of the bed.
Next he measured and cut 5 pieces of 1/2 inch pvc piping, 8 feet each.  He then attached the piping from each piece of rebar directly across the top of the bed to another piece of rebar.
Well at least someone offered to lend him a hand!
Next comes the fun part.  He, with the help of his lovely assistant, measured enough heavy plastic to cover the bed.  This was about a 10' x 14' piece if 6 mil. plastic.  The bed is 4' x 8'.
 Next they  covered the bed with the plastic piece.......

And used heavy screws and bungee cords to attach the plastic to the frame of the raised bed.
It's important to have a way to vent your cold frame so that the plants don't overheat.  Even on cold days, the sun's rays can beam down and make the temperature inside the cold frame too hot if not vented properly.  I open the sides and use heavy clips to keep the plastic sides open.
Next we added mature salad greens from a local nursery and herb seedlings from my daughter's indoor greenhouse, a light hut that she created out of a box, fluorescent light, and aluminum foil.
And there you have it! Lots of salad greens, kale, green onions, and cilantro to feed our family this winter.  All for about the cost of $30.00!
So grab yourself a tall glass of sweet iced tea and come on over.  It's going to be summer all winter long at our house!


  1. I love this!!! I have been toying with different cold frame ideas and have used various different sorts of methods for the past several years. I think next year I'll do something like this! Thanks!

    1. You're so welcome! It took us less than an hour. Super cheap......Super easy.....and lots of healthy, fresh produce to enjoy all winter. Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

  2. You're so welcome! It took us less than an hour. Super cheap......Super easy.....and lots of healthy, fresh produce to enjoy all winter. Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

  3. Awesome! We have a cold frame that we grow greens during the winter in too. It's great!

    1. This is our first year for having a cold frame, and we're pretty excited to have fresh greens on our dinner table in the middle of winter! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Love it! I'm thinking of doing it this year. If you don't mind my asking what part of the country do you live in? Did the cold frame keep the veggies alive through the whole winter?