[Homestead] Brace yourself, 2005 garden chores are creeping up on you

tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Fri Feb 4 13:45:58 EST 2005


(you have to use the DIY search engine, but

there is a lot of high-class information there. For

instance trellis your cucumbers and tomatoes to maximize

quality, minimize disease and your garden work---economize

on space in a small garden.

Cold frames are an essential garden tool---spray paint

empty plastic milk jugs black, and put inside to carry

plants through freezing nights better than paper caps or

Wall-o-Water. But a manure-bottom hot frame has a lot of

nutrients and requires no attention except to vent excess

heat as weather warms up---and to insure a water supply.

Do It Yourself

To print this page, select File then Print from your

URL: http://www.diynet.com/diy/gr_fruits_vegetables/

Building a Hot Frame
Building a Hot Frame
 From "Fresh from the Garden"
episode DFFG-120 -- More Projects »

A hot frame is similar to a cold frame -- the difference

is that a hot frame has a heat source to get young

vegetables started quickly. The extra warmth keeps the

plants from freezing at night until the danger of frost

has passed. Here, learn how to create and set up a hot

frame of your own....

* For this project, you'll need an old door or window.

You can buy one at a recycled materials lot for a few

dollars. You'll also need 6 bales of straw, 10 bags of

topsoil, fresh manure and some starter seedlings. The only

tool you’ll need is a shovel.

* The first step in this project is to dig a

rectangular pit a foot deep to hold the fresh manure. You

want to get it below ground level to help hold in the heat

and to make it lower than the planting level of the

seedlings. If you plant the seedlings right in manure they

would burn up from the heat and from an overdose of

nutrients. By digging a pit, the plants will have a buffer

between their roots and the manure. Make the outside

diameter of the pit a foot narrower than the glass door.

* The next step is to lay the bales of straw around

the perimeter. The bales will sit at ground level, not in

the pit itself. Butt them together so they fit tightly,

with no gaps in between. The hay bales become the

insulated wall of your hot frame.

* To make the hot frame work, you need fresh manure.

Go to a local stable to harvest this heat source.

* Once you have your fresh manure, fill the pit you

dug with 6 inches of it. Next, tamp it down lightly with

your shovel. Then moisten the manure to help build up

heat. Then add a 6-inch layer of topsoil, on top of the

manure, to make a bed for your new seedlings. The topsoil

will come up to the bottom of hay bales you stacked around

the pit. Now you're ready to add your plants.

* Once the seedlings are in place, add the recycled

door to the top. The door should rest on the hay bales

with the weight distributed evenly across all of them. The

glass will let light in. The ground, hay bales and manure

will all work together to warm-up the inside of the box.


(the graphics on

CD would help, but this is a good text explanation of

setting up an underground irrigation supply line to a lot

of raised-beds. Make the raised beds of two-block-high

concrete blocks that you can sit on or in which you can

grow herbs.


(pot your herbs

in potting soil or leaf compost---you can't tell the

damned things from weeds if you try to grow them in your


Note---note--if you are plagued with slugs or snails---use

any sort of container shallow enough for them to climb

into and bait it with beer occasionally. Once in they die

a horrible death---a lesson for Gene Gerue here.

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