Out in the cold

by Jane Moore

Our cold frame performed superbly this season, providing us with a late crop of chillies and a couple of pak choi.

Young plants in cold frameOur cold frame performed superbly this season, providing us with a late crop of chillies and a couple of pak choi. It was beautifully constructed out of a bunch of old windows and several banister spindles by Paul, who takes great pride in his 'allotment bodging'.

In fact, he almost takes too much pride in it and is liable to get rather carried away in the perfection of projects. He also gets frustrated by Lizzy's and my attitude of "oh, that'll do." Paul is of the school that 'if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well' and most of the time I do agree with him, but on the plot we tend to need whatever it is that he's building somewhat urgently and so we pile the pressure on to cut a few corners and finish the job quickly.

On the whole he bears our lack of finesse well these days, but he does struggle to curb his high standards and there is generally a degree of head shaking and muttering that accompanies any project he's bodging together for us.

The cold frame, though, is one of his finest hours and both he and we are delighted with it. If I didn't have Paul around I think I'd have to use this online guide.

After the frame's sterling performance this autumn, we've invested in a couple of mustard plants and some parsley to try to overwinter. If all goes well we should be in for an early salad crop next season - as long as the slugs don't get them that is!

Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Out in the cold
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2008 at 19:19

Hello Jools. On your boggy bit of allotment I would leave well alone. Until late spring so it can dry out a bit. Add some manure. And grow some marrows there. When they have cropped.put some more compost down with some sand and grit. Dig it over and leave in clumps, so the air will dry it out.good luck.

Gardeners' World Web User 17/07/2008 at 18:21

I highly recommend growing veg in a cold frame! My garden is gravelled so I use one to grow all of my salad veg in. This is something I have just started doing this year and the first crop I grew and my husband and I ate, was wonderfull, because I grew it! And doesnt it taste better than the shop bought stuff!

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:30

Hi I have just aquired an allotement plot at my local park and I am estatic about it, I have had my plot a week!! it has been used for a horse paddock for the best part of 10 years, it is very, very, VERY boggy in one area, and I am not quite sure how to tackle that problem!!!!!!!!! But how exciting that I can at last start to grow things to eat. No time to loose, I am off to do a bit of digging!!!