If you are looking to expand your garden this year, a cold frame might be the perfect option for you. A cold frame is a small greenhouse that can be used to extend the growing season for plants. It can also be used to protect plants from frost and harsh weather conditions. In this blog post, we will discuss eight different plants that can be grown in a cold frame!
What can you grow in a cold frame? Plants that grow well in cold frames include kales, spinach, radishes, baby onions, salad greens, mint, chives, and cilantro.
Winter is coming and so we must prepare for the harsh weather conditions ahead. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in cold frames. Multiple cold frames can extend your growing season. They can allow you to continue growing and harvesting fresh vegetables throughout winter.
In this section, you will discover the eight best plants to grow in cold frames during winter. These plants are known to be cold resistant. They are also known to perform well in cold frames.
8 perfect plants to grow in cold frames during winter
Kales are perfect for growing in cold frames. They are also probably the healthiest veggies to eat. The reason why is that they are loaded with important vitamins and anti-oxidants. Eating kales regularly is like eating vitamin pills. The only difference is that fried kales are tasty. Growing kales in your cold frames will certainly make you healthier with time.
You can easily grow kales in your cold frames without making any modifications to them. You do not need to insulate your cold frames or add a heating cable to grow kales. This is because they actually do like cold weather. In fact, a bit of cold weather will enhance their flavor.
Kales perform well in cold frames when planted about 1-inch apart at a shallow depth of 0.25 inches.
Spinach is also a perfect vegetable to grow in cold frames. There are three reasons why this is the case. The first reason is that spinach is a cool weather plant. This means it can thrive in cold frames (it just needs protection from frost or chilling air and this is provided by the frames).
The second reason is that spinach grows fast. This is desirable because cold frames are typically small and so anything that grows fast saves space. Spinach can be harvested quickly and grown again or replaced by something else.
The third reason why spinach is a perfect vegetable to grow in cold frames is that it improves in flavor when grow in cold frames. In other words, growing spinach in cold frames enhances the flavor of the vegetable.
To get the best results when you grow spinach, you should sow the seeds about 1 inch apart and at a shallow depth of 0.25 inches. You can start harvesting this vegetable as soon as the leaves grow over three inches above the ground.
You should definitely grow radishes in your cold frame if you are a vegetarian. Because you will definitely love the many ways you can cook radishes and the many tastes you can get out of this simple vegetable crop.
Just like spinach, radishes are a fast-growing vegetable crop. They are also a cool weather plant. They are ideal for growing in cold frames because of their small stature.
When you grow certain varieties of radishes, you should be ready to start harvesting them within a month. This is because they grow very fast.
Radishes perform very well when grown at a shallow depth of about 0.25 inches and in loose soil. When the soil is well-mixed with compost prior to planting, radishes grow very fast and form very nice fruits.
4. Baby onions
Everybody loves baby onions, especially during winter. This is because they are perfect for making tasty winter soups and roasts. Virtually all types of baby onions do well in cold frames. So whatever baby onion seeds or bulbs you buy will certainly do well in cold frame environments.
If you decide to grow baby onions in your cold frames, you should plant the seeds at about 0.25 inches in the ground. Baby onions and other cold-frame plants prefer growing in loose shallow soils.
To make sure your baby onions thrive, you should mix the soil inside your cold frame with compost before you saw them. The compost will make the soil rich and fertile and, therefore, ensure the quick growth and success of your onions.
According to gardening experts, you can grow baby onions in both commercial and homemade cold frames.
5. Salad greens
Salad greens are the easiest vegetable to grow in cold-frame environments. The main reason why is that they grow really well in cold environments, which is usually the case in cold frames. And the second reason why is that they really fast. Within a few weeks you can start harvesting fresh salad greens straight from your garden or backyard.
The best thing about growing salad greens in your garden is that growing them in a single frame can produce plenty of fresh greens for a small family. In fact, you may never need to purchase fresh greens again if you grow these ones unless you want to switch to another vegetable.
For the best results, you should sow salad green seeds about 0.25 inches in the soil and you should space them about the same distance apart. To keep harvesting a fresh supply of salad greens you should you should sow new rows of the plant every fourteen days.
Mint is perfect for making fancy drinks, jellies, fruit salads, and desserts. Most people will not consider mint as the first option for their cold frames. However, if you have space in your cold frame or you love making fancy drinks, fruit salads or desserts, you should certainly consider growing mint in your cold frame.
The best thing about growing mint is that it does not require a lot of space. This means you can certainly grow it in plenty in cold frames. The worst thing about it is that it is invasive. This means it can quickly choke out other plants.
Nevertheless, there is something you can do to prevent it from taking over your cold frames. You can grow them in pots. Just make sure that if you are sinking the pots they do not go too deep. Otherwise, they will come into contact with the soil level and invade your cold frame(s).
You should strongly consider chives for your cold frame or one of your cold frames. This is because chives have many uses in the kitchen. You can use them to top baked potatoes, garnish creamy soups, make a salad, make flavored butter, cook eggs, or make creamy pasta sauce.
The best thing about growing chives is that they do really well in cold frames. When protected from the winter chill by cold frames, they can grow easily. You will not need to buy chives when you start growing them in your yard.
If you opt to grow chives, you should mix the soil with compost to make sure it is rich in nutrients. You should space the plants about one inch apart to ensure all your chives get good exposure to sunlight when they sprout.
Cilantro is also a plant that is a part of many soup recipes. It is absolutely perfect for making tasty soups.
The best thing about growing cilantro is that it is cold-hardy. What this means is that it can survive cold air and wind. Now imagine it being grown in cold frames where it is protected and, therefore, more likely to thrive.
Because cilantro is cold-hardy, you do not need to do anything to make your cold frames warmer for cilantro to thrive in them.
During summer, you should grow cilantro outside the cold frame to ensure they still get cool enough to thrive. Cold frames can get very hot during summer so growing cool-weather vegetable crops like cilantro in them during the season does not make a lot of sense. It is during winter that you should grow your cilantro in cold frames.
Cilantro seeds should be grown about 0.5 inches deep and 2 inches apart for them to thrive. Of Course, the soil should be mixed with compost to make it fertile and nutrient-rich.
Many plants can survive winter in a cold frame. However, only a few can really thrive in such a setting. You now know eight of these plants. If you grow three or four of these plants, you will have several fresh vegetable/salad options on your table throughout winter.
While mint is not exactly a vegetable, you should definitely have it in your cold frame. Use it to make mint tea on dull and dreary winter days – it will reinvigorate you and lift your spirits.