Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Raised Beds and a Coldframe

Whew! Were we ever busy this weekend! It started bright and early Saturday morning, when David and I went to the Farmer's Market. We took our hippy basket and reusable bags, and filled them up with all manner of home grown stuff. We got kale, a bag of different lettuces, fennel (!), and pok choy, and gosh, tons more. We were back home by 9, when shortly after that hubby came driving in with a load of wood and other stuff for the newest beds. After a quick breakfast, we were out in the garden. For starters, I wanted to replace my chard bed. It was so overgrown with bermuda, there was no possible way to save it with any other method. I dug up the chard and iris at the ends, and put them in the shade on feed sacks. We built the bed, and hubby hammered it in the ground. I layed down cardboard on the bottom to keep the bermuda roots from growing up to the surface, and then we proceeded to fill them up with the mix I had gotten last week. This picture is what's left of 1 1/2 yards I bought Saturday before the dirt place closed for the weekend. I think it's the third load I've bought this spring. Good thing we have a teenager in the house, bless his heart! I'd hate to unload this!

Anyway, after the bed was made and filled, I put the chard and iris back in. Oh, they were so much happier, not having to share their home with all those weeds!
Here they are, in their new digs!

But, don't you know, they didn't all fit! So, I put the extra iris at each end of the first bed we made a few weeks ago, and I just heeled in the extra chard until I can find someone willing to give them a good home. Anybody have room in their garden for some really good chard? Anybody? Hello?

And, because that wasn't enough for one day, hubby started working on my coldframe/raised bed. Pretty cool, huh? We've never used a coldframe before, so this is a learning process, but I'm excited at the thought of getting my starts out of the kitchen and living room. Right now, we are keeping the wood stove going for my little seeds that haven't come up yet. It's too cold for them outside, and very soon, after they start popping up through the soil, there will not be enough light for them inside. Hopefully, this will do the trick.

Here's the cold frame after one lid is on. This afternoon, after leaving the lid down for about an hour or so, it was 117 degrees inside, and 103 outside, just on the soil in the sun. I was a little surprised to find it so hot outside on the soil, because it's chilly enough in the shade for a light jacket. Each morning, I will need to be faithful about going to the garden, because on a day like today, if I forget to prop the lid open, by the time I get home from work, the starts will be fried for sure!


  1. Congrats on the raised beds! Very nice! We have irises in the garden too. I love them, because they keep the weeds away. Heavy downpours here during the weekend, not able to do anything outside.

  2. You are busy, busy! And it is getting colder here and we just had hail! What is up with the weather? And oh yeah, turn your clocks ahead this weekend, who would have thunk that! Mitch told me, I would not have known that!

  3. Astrid, I'm really hoping they work with the weeds. That will give me so much more time later in the year to do other gardening chores.
    Becca, Can you believe Monday was so so cold here too? I was happy to have had my time in the garden, though. Ahh! I was wondering when to change our clocks! Thanks.

  4. So I was scanning really fast through your past posts, and there it was, a picture of your cold frame! I'm hoping to get my boyfriend to build one later this year. Can you tell me how the lid is attached to your frame?

    I really like your garden blog, especially how you mix gardening posts with other interesting things like recipes. I will be following you from now!