Last fall, I happened across author Niki Jabbour's blog the Year Round Veggie Gardener, and I was so impressed with the work that she was doing with cold frames, that I asked her to do a guest post. Since that time, Niki's book, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, has been published with great success and has recently been given the 2012 Book Award by The American Horticultural Society.
I love my cold frames. In fact, if I could only choose one type of season extender, my top pick would be a simple cold frame.
In fact, once our day length stretches past 10 hours in early February, I begin sowing fresh seed in any empty patches of the cold frames - arugula, Swiss chard, endive, tatsoi, spinach, lettuce, scallions, beets, turnips, carrots, radishes, pak choi and so much more!
Enjoying a gourmet baby mesclun salad months before most gardeners have even broken ground on their gardens gives me a huge sense of satisfaction.
Plus, growing food in a cold frame is incredibly easy! I amend the soil with compost, aged manure or worm poop between crops, water when the soil is dry and ventilate the frame by propping open the top whenever the temperature climbs above 4 C.
From veggies and herbs to flowers like pansies, calendula and borage. Even indoor started crops can be moved to a cold frame to finish hardening off before being transplanted to the garden. Remember to give them a few days of shade/sun before moving them to the cold frame so they can acclimatize to the bright light. Then, open the frame during mild days and close it at night to provide protection from the chilly nights.
A cold frame may simply be a bottomless box with a translucent top, but it’s one of the top tools in my garden!
It has turned my 6 month garden into a year round food factory!
Jennifer: Many thanks to Niki for doing this guest post.
All the photos in this post are excerpted from the Year Round Vegetable Gardener © Joseph DeSciose, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
More Information and Links:
More Information and Links:
About Niki Jabbour:
Niki is a garden writer and radio host from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her book, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener (Storey Publishing) will be available in December 2011. Niki's radio show, the Weekend Gardener airs March through October across the Maritime provinces in Canada on news957.com. Niki's work can also be found in Gardens East, Garden Making and Canadian Gardening magazines. Follow Niki's adventures on facebook or at http://yearroundveggiegardener.blogspot.com
Canadians can pre-order a copy of Niki's book, The Year Round Veggie Gardener by clicking here.
Pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking here.
Book Giveaway: Niki has given me a copy of her book to give away to one lucky reader.
If you would like to be included in the draw for the copy of Niki's book, please leave a comment below. If you are too shy to leave a comment, but would still like to be included in the draw, please feel free to drop me a line by email and I will be glad to throw your name in the hat. Draw to take place on Saturday, March 17th at 10am my time.
Upcoming Appearance Dates For Niki Jabbour, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener:
Place: Boston Flower Show
Date: Wednesday, March 14th
Time: 3:30 pm (Niki will be speaking at 3:30 pm, followed by a book signing)
Place: Canada Blooms
Date: Friday, March 16th
Time: 1pm (Niki will be speaking at 1pm, followed by a book signing)
Place: Sheridan Nurseries Booth at Canada Blooms
Date: Saturday, March 17th
Time: Details to Follow
On separate note, if you will be visiting Canada Blooms, be sure to squeeze in a little time for what is bound to be an interesting lecture by fellow blogger Patty King. Patty will be speaking on the History of Gardening in Canada as part of Canada Bloom's Master Gardener Speakers Series. Date: Monday, March 19th at 2 pm, Rm 105, Hall A.