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Cold frames - how much earlier can I plant?

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Cold frames - how much earlier can I plant?

Post  kittykat on 3/22/2012, 12:25 am

Hello my American friends...

I'm in southwest BC, along the coast, so my weather conditions are much like yours - more so than the interior of BC - so I'm going to post my question in this forum...

Just how much earlier can I plant and transplant when using a cold frame compared to regular planting and transplanting guidelines? 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks?

Any general tried-and-true experience out there to guide me?

Thanks a bunch!!
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Re: Cold frames - how much earlier can I plant?

Post  boffer on 3/22/2012, 1:02 am

Hi,

I have two cold frames that are wood boxes with glass tops, and several hoop houses described in the book. I have good luck direct seeding cool crops on 2/14. I always try a bit earlier, but the results aren't as consistent.

I also have several soil heated hoop houses that I direct seed in January. I plan on having my first lettuce salad of the year in a week or two. There might be a few radishes to go with it, but they'll be small. I found some nice broccoli and cabbage starts at a nursery that I couldn't pass up, and I've already transplanted them to a hoop house with open ends, just protected from the rain.

When it comes to starting warm season plants, I can't help much.

You can't go far wrong by planting your cool crops early. If they don't do well, there's plenty of time on the calendar to replant.
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Re: Cold frames - how much earlier can I plant?

Post  kittykat on 3/22/2012, 1:48 am

Great! Thanks boffer - much appreciated!

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Re: Cold frames - how much earlier can I plant?

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/22/2012, 8:30 am

Great info B!

What I have read is that unheated protection like a cold-frame bumps you up one USDA zone. So if you live in 7b you bump the micro climate in the cold frame to zone 8.

But do what Boffer said, take a chance with really early, what have you got to lose?
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