Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cold Frame - Leaks

Today I plugged the leaks in the cold-frame. The only thing I could think of using was foam rubber. I'm not sure how it will take the moisture, but there was nothing else I could think of using. I scrounged up some left over pieces from a project of my mothers. I cut it in strips and stapled it onto the frame where the doors rested. It seemed to work. You can see some between the two windows below.
With one door open you can see it around the frame forming something like a gasket. Over to the left of the cold frame is a small pile of chicken litter. Even though I hadn't gotten a chance to wet it down, it had started to compost and heat up. I think I'm going try to put about 6 inches of litter in the bottom of the frame and see if I can get it to produce some nice bottom heat for my plants. Another thing you can see inside is gallon jugs. The are filled with water with food coloring added. Their purpose is to store heat. I added the food coloring to make them darker so that they might absorb heat faster. I could have painted them black, but that would have been more work than I'm willing to do. I stapled the plastic to the cellar window frame and plan on opening the cellar window if the temperature dips too low in the cold-frame. People have pointed out to me that I could also run a light bulb out the cellar window for warmth. If I did that I'd actually have a hot box not a cold-frame. If it gets too cold, that may be a good option though. I still haven't been able to see if the automatic vent works. Now that everything is tightened up maybe tomorrow it will warm inside the frame to trigger it. I've got the remote min/max thermometer in there now so I'll know soon just how hot and cold it's getting insode. I really would like to start moving some seedlings out into it soon, bit I want to wait a bit and make sure i wont cook or freeze my seedlings.


  1. I have read or been told that green actually absorbs more energy from the sun than black does, so food coloring was a good call on your part.

    The cold frame looks great! The idea of putting manure in the bottom of the cold frame, for heat, is one that has been practiced for ages. I've never done it but it's something on my list of things to try.

    What kind of flowers are those just beginning to bloom? Crocus?

  2. Leslie, They are crocuses. After such a warm winter, March has become cold. The crocuses are up, but The daffodils look like they have a ways to go before they will bloom.