The Q&A Archives: Winter Lettuce in Cold Frame

Question: It's mid November, zone 4, and I'm growing lettuce and other greens in my well-insulated cold frame. How long can this last? Can I add a light bulb, a string of Christmas lights or other heating device and continue to grow greens through a Minnesota winter?

Answer: Depending on how well insulated your cold frame is, the microclimate for its location, and on the weather, you should be able to keep cold tolerant greens growing for quite a while into the cold weather. Some may even slow down almost completely and then start growing again in very early spring. You are right in thinking that a simple heat source such as a light bulb can extend the season significantly. I would caution you that whatever you use should be of good quality and made for long term operation to make sure it is as safe as possible; there are in fact heating cables made for such a purpose. In the olden days gardeners would build a cold frame over what was essentially a hot manure pile and capture the heat from that -- these days we have more options!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Coreopsis"