17 April 2012

Cold frame and container potatoes

Too wet to do much digging on the plot today but I managed to make a cold frame and plant some potatoes at home between the April showers.

I've done a very simple conversion to one of my raised beds to make the cold frame,using glass panes left over from an old greenhouse (destroyed by gales in about 2005) with some new planking and pegs purchased from Dallam Timber today after checking measurements and working out a method.

As with the original raised beds I got the timber yard to cut the planks to the required size ,thereby saving me a lot of hassle.

Having removed the soil at the end of the bed I carefully lined up the insert plank (which proved to be a very neat fit),and then secured it in position with the pegs.After raking the earth floor level I covered it with some breathable membrane from a large roll bought recently.

Through a combination of luck and design the two glass panes overlap the frame slightly when butted side by side and this means that they can be picked up by their edges and handled fairly easily.Hopefully they'll be kept in place by their own weight.

I even gave the glass a rinse

The cold frame now houses trays of sweetcorn, globe artichokes,spring onions and mixed chards sown today.
I'll gradually adapt more beds using the other inserts,as raising under glass for transplanting seems to be a better option than planting out direct at this time of year in these Northern climes.

I've used some of the soil liberated from the cold frame area to plant up the spare potatoes left over from the allotment. Based on last year's experience the container method seems to give good results and earthing up is simple. 

Only need to put a small amount of soil in the container before planting up.

Then cover them with a shallow depth of soil ,gradually topping this up as the shoots grow.

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