Cold Frame - Knowledgebase Question

Steele city, NE
Avatar for tstarr
Question by tstarr
March 5, 1998
When in Nebraska can I start using my cold frame? It is made of straw bales and thermopane window.

Answer from NGA
March 5, 1998
It really depends on the weather, what you are growing, and how accessible the cold frame is--in case a cold spell is predicted and you need to move things back inside.

I've used a hay bale cold frame for years. One thing I've found is that mine isn't at all air tight, so at night cold air really leaks in. I set my cool weather crops out about May 1, a month before our last frost date here in Vermont. But if really cold weather threatens, I either bring them indoors or cover the entirecold frame with blankets and tarps. I wait until just a week or so before our last frost date to bring out my warm weather crops like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, using the cold frame just to harden them off. I set them out a little too early one year, and I think the cool night temperatures stunted them a little.

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