Your own cold frame in March

Garden Life
If you don’t have the patience to wait until mid-May for planting flowers and vegetables – go for a cold frame. In your own cold frame summer flowers and vegetables can be precultured in March and, if necessary, planted into an outside bed in May. Compared to a greenhouse the cold frame is much smaller. As it is portable it can be put quite easily wherever it is needed. Also, it is much cheaper than a greenhouse and therefore easily affordable for smaller purses.

Technically skilled gardeners can build their cold frame on their own. All you need is a timber wooden frame and a wooden roof structure, covered with a robust plastic foil or a fleece.
Make sure that ventilation is good. Fix the roof with hinges to the frame and mount a stem – lift the roof, set the stem inbetween – and ventilation is done. If you want a more professional cold frame use polycarbonate plates for the roof. This roof is much more solid and insulated. The cold frame will heat up noticeably already within the first weeks sunrays and it will keep the warm air inside – thus your vegetables will have the right climate to grow faster.

The correct position for a cold frame is a sunny spot. Furthermore it should be placed next to the house or shed, so that the cold frame is wind-sheltered. Ideally, the higher backside should point north and the beveled side south. This way, your cold frame catches most of the sunlight. 

After you have finished building your cold frame you are ready to sow – but aerate the soil first and do not forget to water. If it is still very cold outside, you should protect your plants with a fleece or straw. Start with ventilation when the days get warmer in mid-March. 

The best vegetables for sowing in March are: Cabbage, Garden Cress, Lettuce, Radish and lesser celandine. After mid-April you can also sow Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Zucchini and Peppers.

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