Montana has a short growing season. But there is a way to extend the gardening season—obviously, not for all types of vegetables—that works well for some types of greens and root vegetables. Basically, everything that grows well in the spring and fall months can be grown in the winter months within the confines of a cold frame. A cold frame works by protecting plants from precipitation and other extremes. A simple cold frame (a cold frame can be built with artificial heat) is nothing more than a grow area slightly raised off the frozen ground and protected by a glass or plastic top that allows sunlight to pass through and naturally heat the inside of the enclosure, but it remains closed to prevent that heat from escaping. Cool, right? Here’s how to build a simple one.
Build a Cold Frame
The easiest way to build the top of the cold frame to use an old window. Repurpose one. You can use one you have or you might be able to find one at a salvage place or even antique store. But don’t pay too much. If you don’t want to use an old window, simply build a frame with lighter duty lumber, glued and attached with butt joints (you can use fancy miters) and attach the pieces with brackets and wood screws. Keep it simple. Measure the outside of the window, because the base will be built the same size—width and length. Use rot resistant boards (non-treated cedar works well) or plywood and cut them to length. Now build the box. Slope the height from the back to the front by six to fifteen inches. Attach everything with glue and woodscrews and you have your box. Then you will need to install your substrate and plant your plants.
And if you need soil or compost, make sure to call Rocky Mountain Compost today for all of your soil needs. Also remember that Rocky Mountain Compost stocks pet and livestock bedding to keep your animals warm in the winter months.