Friday, January 2, 2009

Winter Lettuce

This winter, for the first time, I built a temporary coldframe. Six bales of straw, a doubled sheet of 4-mil plastic sheeting, and four boards --- and, viola! I've been amazed at the difference it has made. The pictures above are lettuce planted about the same time. The picture on the left is in my cold frame, the one on the right is in an open bed. We had a salad with fresh lettuce on New Year's Eve. Yesterday, we had mustard from the cold frame. This is definitely a practice I will continue. I had no idea that this little bit of shelter would make such a difference. We have had temperatures in the single digits already this winter. The worst damage to the protected plants happened while we were gone to Texas last weekend. We got 1 2/10" rain, which crushed the plastic against the plants in spots. More than 24 hours of that was pretty rough on the plants. While I do have two crossbars (tomato stakes) to help keep the plastic off the plants, this is definitely a refinement I will need to work on for next year. But I've already declared this experiment a success!


cogardengram said...

Re: rain causing plastic to fall; try cutting a piece of field fencing, place over bales first then plastic. Any stiff wire fencing will do.

cogardengram said...

If you have a piece of fencing laying around, place it over the bales and then the plastic on top.
Works great.