This weekend in the midst of hurricane Desmond battering Belfast, I took to the blogs and to twitter to connect with some other allotment folk and to introduce our blog to them. Chris on the other hand got stuck in and built our very first Coldframe construction.
The wood primarily came from pallets and floorboards which had been salvaged. We are very keen to recycle as much materials as possible. The door with the glass was pulled of a skip (with the owners permission) last summer with the intention of constructing a coldframe. The only part of the structure that we had to pay for were the hinges, even the screws were free as Chris won them on a scratch card after making a purchase at Tradepoint at B & Q.
Last year Chris’s kitchen and living room windows were covered from top to bottom in sprouting seeds he had begun to grow indoors. However when it came time to plant them out, we got hit with a cold snap and months of work had been ruined overnight. it was then we agreed that making a Coldframe construction to keep our seedlings safe in the process of hardening them off for outdoor planting, was a good idea.
Our process for hardening off seedlings will follow something like this to ensure we gradually introduce them to the elements
- Place seedlings into the coldframe construction to protect them from strong sunlight, potential frosty nights and less-frequent watering. This will take approximately 1 week
- As the temperatures start to rise, we’ll open the cold frame roof for a small time of approx 2-3 hours of sun. Another 2-3 days.
- Increasing the time the seedlings are exposed to the elements but closing the lid as and when more serious weather systems come into play – 1 more week
Transplanting the seedlings into the ground when they have successfully hardened off will give us the best chance of growing from seed, something Chris and I are very happy about as the cost savings will be huge.