Seedybeans Blog

Celebrating the Humble Harvests of High Desert Homesteading

Spring planting!!! (& protection)

I know, it is so exciting to get those seedy babies right in the ground now!!  And with this wet spring, just think how they will all love all the moisture!!  I have to admit, I often hesitate on planting in the spring because of funny late frosts and snows here in Santa Fe, but now many years have passed that I feel that I have waited too long.  This year I am already planting stuff outside now, ….but with a little protection.

Direct Seeding

This is the south side of our greenhouse where we grew the most lovely tomatoes last year.  We ran sheep fencing along it and secured it so now it is a permanent trellis bed.   Last Tuesday I planted peas along the back and three varieties of spinach in front.  No germination yet, but I am hopeful with last weekend snow.  We have no guts on the greenhouse so the water flows right into the bed.  This is the most protected bed in the garden and the first to warm up and lasy to cool down because of the radiating heat off the greenhouse.  I hope the peas like it.  Weather you have a greenhouse not, peas can go right into the ground right now, along with spinach, mache, kale, chinese cabbages.

Cold Frames

This is a cold frame build by students( with guidance) at Monte Del Sol.  It was based on a design from Elliot Coleman’s Four Season Harvest Book, which is a great book to own if you want to really get serious about season extension, and who doesn’t!!  In fact anything by Elliot is worth an inch on your book shelf.  So the cold frames here were planted two weeks ago with spinach & kale two weeks ago, and look at them now! By the time I see them tomorrow I am sure they will be looking very different.

Cold frames are fantastic, easy and really a great way to garden at school and home because you can get a lot out of a small space, during the school year, and they are protected from bouncing balls, running feet, and other treats that educational heavily trafficked gardens might have on them.  Cold frames can be a manageable space for a class of family to adopt and care for all on their own.  They are a great easy math/ building project and are relatively cheap to make.  This one here cost about $50 in lumber & materials….But that would be the high-end.  You could use salvaged shower doors (my favorite are the translucent kind (defuses the light a little so that the plants don’t cook) old windows, even a layer of thick plastic like this one. You can see it did get a rip, but tape seems to save it just fine.

Our cold frames at house are made from windows we replaced.  The entire window frames were pullout out so all we had to do was put them on the ground.  Pretty sweet.

I planted them last March and by April they looked like dinner!! I don’t know about you, but I sure am ready to be eating out of the ground!!! If you haven’t been inspired enough here is another link to get you cold framing soon from Mother Earth News.  It also mentions cloches made from Milk Jugs (mini greenhouses for individual plants).  I prefer these I saw in Italy, if only I knew a glass blower!! That is enough inspiration for one night.  Good luck!!


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