Well, it has been one mighty cold couple of days. It is not unheard of for my area to have lows of -10c(14f) in November but the last few years makes it certainly seem unusual. Even with the temperatures I decide to put the cold frame out anyway and see what happens.
I built the frame about 6 inches higher then is recommend so I could bury it into the soil for added insulation. I dug the hole, placed it in and then back filled around the outside. I then raked out the soil inside, put the cheapo thermometer in and shut the lid.
After about an hour I headed back out and the temperature was holding at 0c(32f) with the outside temperature being -5c(23f). I then checked again just before sunset and it was holding at -2c(29f) with the outside temperature being -7c(19.5f). I will be checking again later this evening and early tomorrow morning.
This is obviously nowhere near a consensus of the temperature range of the frame but I am pretty sure I will not be starting seeds anytime soon. If the outside temperatures stays in the range they have been I will not be starting any seeds until march I'm guessing. Now if we go back to the temperature we have been having the last couple weeks I may be able to start some baby greens. Only time will tell I guess. Either way if I can not use it right way it will most definitely come in handy in March when the sun and temps are stronger.
On another note I have started to read two of Eliot Coleman's books, 'The New Organic Grower' as well as 'Four-Season harvest.' He runs a four season farm in Maine, US and has mastered the technique of four season growing in a climate that is harsher then mine. What I can gather from glancing over the books is he plants from Aug-Oct for winter harvest and then basically holds over the crops in the cold frame or in his case movable greenhouses. So in other words I should have built the cold frame in Sept and seeded no later then Oct.
I will keep updating on the frame as things progress as well as do a post on how I built the frame next week. I also have some fall bulb posts in draft that I will be posting over the next few days.
2 days ago