Salad greens thriving in hot bed

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    I didn't believe it, but it's true. Beautiful (and actively growing) salad greens of all kinds in mid-December. Yeah, OK, this isn't exactly Minnesota, but still I'm impressed.

    So what's a hot bed?

    In late August, I dug out a bed down two feet, filled 1/2 full with horse manure, then 4 inches of sand, then filled to surface level with composted top soil. I then constructed a cold frame over the top and seeded.

    The manure is decomposing and warming the soil, and with the protection and help of the cold frame, I'm getting temps up to 70 degrees F inside, even when it's freezing out. Neat, huh?
     
  2. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty cool! If I had a hot bed it would be under about 10 inches of snow right now! Ahh the great white north, can' t eat farm fresh greens, but I'm gonna do some sledden today :D :yeeha:
     

  3. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    My mom grows her garden in about 80 percent (seasoned) horse manure.When i say seasoned i mean just old enough that it doesn't burn the plants.But still hot enough to steam like crazy on cool mornings.However she hasn't tried covering it and growing earlier or later than normal.
    Noticed yesterday morning while the chickens where scratching in my mulch pile the stem was just rolling.I got pretty much the same idea that you used.But didn't no it would work in winter.I was just going to try it in early spring,to start stuff out earlier this year.;) Hum a winter garden.Cool! Id love a good fresh vine ripened tomato most of all. :D
     
  4. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    The guy that wrote "Four Season Gardening" lives in Vermont or NH, doesn't he? He uses cold frames and plastic covered hoops and greenhouses and has salad every night, even when snow is thick on the ground. I enjoyed the book and don't even need its tips where I live. Go for it and get out the salad dressing!
     
  5. ed/IL

    ed/IL Well-Known Member

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    You are not going to get tomatoes in the winter but great for cool weather crops. Compost also makes co2 and that helps the plants. Sounds like fun.
     
  6. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

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    Yes! And his daughter wrote a couple articles on how she does it in CO. The simple way http://www.motherearthnews.com/arc/6805/ and the more refined: http://www.motherearthnews.com/arc/6823/

    I think that in the French Intensive method they pile fresh manure around the outside of the cold frame, eliminating the need to dig so deep. As it decomposes it both warms and fertilizes. Greens grow quite well in the 50's and tolerate light frost; I grow them here without covering them. Beets too. With temps in the 70's you could grow lots of stuff, although you might need a grow light to lengthen the days.

    Chris
     
  7. Chuck123

    Chuck123 Well-Known Member

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    Amelia, you're my new hero. :haha: I've thought about doing this, as I've read about it....now I'm inspired!!!! Thanks!! :)