Monday, April 15, 2013

Inching Ahead

We're inching ahead here in Zone 4b after Friday's minor accumulation of sleet and wet snow. I'm happy to have this little lungwort in my front herb bed because it's always the first plant to flower after the crocuses.

It's lovely to see the daffodils and hyacinths (pictured here) poking up from the soil. Promises of yellow and pink to come.

The birds are a little more active. Robins are abundant as are the red-winged blackbirds. I couldn't resist this tiny feather caught on a blade of grass.

My husband built us a small cold frame using materials that we had in our garage--a few pallets and an old window. We decided to take advantage of the spring sunshine and let our leek and brassica seedlings enjoy a little extra warmth.

It's a little tricky, though. We've never used a cold frame before. Today we came home from work to find that the seedlings were a little too warm even with the window propped open slightly. So, we've brought them back in for now to baby them just a little more before we try the cold frame again. Natalie and others who use cold frames, do you have any tips for me? We were hoping to use it to help our seedlings grow bigger and stronger.

We went down to our large field garden this afternoon to see if the soil was ready for planting. Alas, it was too wet. The peas and poppies will have to wait a little longer. 


  1. Nice to see your spring season kicking in a little. It's so amazing what a difference it makes to be as far north as you are.

    You might try propping a whole side up to allow for more air flow - maybe 3 stakes cut to length, that you could support the end with. And just a word of caution (which I am sure you're aware of) - I know so many who have toasted their seedlings by not getting the glass propped in time when the sun had come out. It only takes a couple hours or less sometimes.

  2. Hi Abby,
    Yes. Our poor little seedlings were a little wilted today. I think we need to prop it open more than we did.

  3. you can lift them out by the time morning temps warm the ambient air, and then pop them back in for a good night around dusk. the winds and whatnot help to harden them off too. i long for a cold frame! we experience chilly off and on again temps in spring, and a coldframe would be valuable. but folks here at our farm lift trays in and our accordingly. have fun!!

  4. * that would be in and 'out' accordingly. ahem.

  5. hey, lady! we added our seedlings gradually, an hour or so at a time. during the peak heat of the day, we open up the window completely. i hope this helps!