10 Tips around the cold frame

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A cold frame has several advantages: You can start early in the season, harvest accordingly earlier and produce large crops in a small area, because the plants in the cold frame find optimal growth conditions. For this to succeed, but you have to pay attention to a few things. We show you the most important things at a glance.

1. Sow earlier and reap in the cold frame

With a cold frame, the harvest can be advanced by weeks and achieve high yields in a small area. First, loosen the soil in the cold frame and crush coarser crumbs with the Krail. Then distribute compost (three to five liters per square meter) and work in a superficial way. Level the earth and put on windows. From the end of February, when the earth has warmed to about eight degrees, you can sow spinach and stalk (turnip). From the beginning of March, cut salad, cress and radish will follow, and two weeks later, preferred kohlrabi and pickle salad will be planted.

2. The right location for a cold frame

A generously dimensioned open area without shadows cast by higher trees, hedges or walls is the perfect location for a classic cold frame. Unlike the greenhouse, an east-west orientation, with the long, low side facing south, ensures the longest irradiation time for a flat solar orbit, and thus optimal light output. Interesting for small areas is a Anlehn box, which is placed on the southern wall of the residential building. It offers heat-loving herbs ideal wintering conditions. In summer you open the windows or remove them completely.

Cold frame filling with compost

Natural heating: The correct filling heats the cold frame

3. Cold frame with bio-heating

When plant parts rot, heat is released. This free energy can be used in the cold frame: For the natural heating in the cold frame, lift the earth to a depth of 40 centimeters. Fill a 20-centimeter-high layer of one-third of shredded straw, half-rotted garden compost and autumn leaves. Underlay organic nitrogen fertilizer, for example, 100 grams of horny grass per square meter, and apply the coating well. Now fill an equally high layer of humus rich garden soil and hang up the windows. After about a month, the soil has noticeably warmed up in the bed due to the conversion processes in the foliage-straw mixture.

4. Breeding station for flowers and vegetables

High-quality cold frames are equipped with sturdy profiles made of corrosion-resistant aluminum and with hail and unbreakable, UV-protected double-skin sheets. The high insulation value and good light transmission create ideal conditions for the plants. You can open the windows in several positions or remove them completely. Ground anchors ensure stability. Practical accessories: The cold frame windows can be equipped with an automatic window opener: it opens and closes the window automatically, depending on the current outside temperature.

Cold frame model Allgäu by Beckmann

Cold frame "Allgäu" by Beckmann, the base model has a footprint of 100 x 90 centimeters and can be extended as desired

5. Quick-mounted hiking prebends

Depending on the design, cold frames require a foundation or are anchored to the storm with piles or metal bars. You can even set up migratory early beds covered with fleece or foil if the soil in the bed is still frozen. The corner joints can be - supplemented by battens plus fleece or foil - set up for a simple cold frame, which can be placed in fragile weather quickly over sensitive spring cultures.

6. Rich harvest on a small area

Cold frame with foil hood

Follow-up vegetables in the cold frame

From March onwards, a row of salad rucola (rocket), Asian cabbage, pickled lettuce, radish, Romana salad, kohlrabi, radish, broccoli, dill and carrots will flourish in this bed with foil hood on ironing (left). From the middle of May, when the early vegetables have been harvested, salad bushes, heat-loving peppers, batavia salad, tomatoes, white summer radishes, fennel and sugar melons (right) grow in the bed.

Early kohlrabi and broccoli can be planted in the cold frame from mid-March. From mid-April fennel, green and Brussels sprouts are possible. Anyone who prefers beans from the middle of April prevents eggplant from flying. In sunny weather and mild temperatures ventilate the film during the day so that no fungal diseases spread.

7. Control the temperature in the cold frame

In cool or rainy weather, the windows remain closed. Once the sun comes out, you have to ventilate. Because even in the spring it comes about noon to the heat quickly - or there is a humid atmosphere and failures due to leaf burns or fungal diseases are inevitable.In a cold frame with integrated insect screen kohlrabi and radishes are protected from cabbage and radish flies and the black net provides airy shade.

8. Growth aids in mini format

Special plant tunnels made of plastic elements can be placed in a row and closed with end caps on the front and back. At the end caps finger hollows are formed, which facilitate the insertion. The plant tunnel is much easier to assemble and disassemble than the foil tunnel. Small plant bells are with a diameter of 35 centimeters and a height of 30 centimeters particularly suitable for the cultivation of individual plants. They are simply slipped over the plant and fixed with ground anchors.

Mini cold frames Sunny by Otto Graf

The planting aids "Sunny" by Otto Graf ensure good plant growth with a warm and humid climate

9. Cold frame as a kit

If you enjoy home improvement, you design a cold frame yourself and build it together. Easier is it with a cold frame kit from the retailer. For the construction you only need a screwdriver or cordless screwdriver.

Cold frame assembled from kit

This model is 120 inches wide and 80 inches deep. It consists of glazed pine wood, the cover windows are polycarbonate double-skin sheets. To stabilize the box is a bar that connects the two longitudinal walls in the top center

10. Use the cold frame as a vegetable storage in winter

A cold frame can be used well until the occurrence of stronger night frosts as a warehouse for vegetables such as tubers celery, beetroot, radish and carrot. Beat the vegetables in a wooden box with a 1: 1 mixture of coarse-grained, moist construction sand and peat. Always position the roots and tubers vertically or slightly at an angle. Additional protection for the stored vegetables offers a thick layer of straw or dry leaves on the wooden crates.

Video Board: How to Use a Cold Frame Alberta Urban Garden.

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