Sometimes it pays to take a chance

Last post I was taking a chance on the weather by transplanting my seedlings in the ground so early (transplanted on March 30).   Everything is growing just fine.

On the evenings when the weather goes under 50, I’ll pull the plastic cover over the bed to preserve the heat.

The greens I transplanted near the stairs are doing well also.  (Transplanted April 2).  I’ve been throwing the frost blanket over the bed on cold nights.

The same day I planted the greens (above), I planted the snow pea soil blocks, some more of the bright lights chard, and a mix of lettuce/chives/radish/carrot seeds.   The seeds are germinating now. 

The front of the bed (above)  has got my FreeCycle Stella D’Oro day lillies that I got last fall.  It was one big clump, but I divided it into smaller clumps.  I’ve also got some of the perennials planted there that I got from volunteering at The Great Perennial Divide last fall.  I can’t remember when, but I transplanted the spinach plants and a couple broccoli in with the perennials.  And then sometime before the 14th I planted the  turnip soil blocks that I triple sowed  (three seeds to one block).  Yeah, I know.  Turnips in seed blocks sounds a little unusual, but that’s me.  Unusual thoughts cross my mind.

I had one of those unusual thoughts when I was working in the yard yesterday.  I was looking at that hill of compost in the lettuce bed and was thinking of what kind of plant grows well in compost. 

Squash grows well in compost, but of course it’s too early to plant squash.  Then I was thinking if I had a way of covering the squash with a cloche or something, maybe I could just keep it covered.  But then I was thinking squash grows so fast, that wouldn’t work.  Then…one of those thoughts.  What if I buried the cold frame I made into the hill of compost and dig down a little bit .  Actually, that would be the only way I could really use the cold frame because, genius that I am, I used 4-inch wood to make a frame for the window.

So, that’s what I did.  I angled the cold frame on the hill of compost, dug out some of the compost and planted three squash in a hill…with frost predicted that night .   (Just to put this in perspective, I find gardening to be one of a couple very good stress relievers, and life around here has been a little stressful lately).

Anyhoo, here’s what I came up with.

I put the lettuce that’s been growing  in soil blocks at the top of the cold frame and along the sides.

Since we had a possible frost predicted, I filled a couple of milk jugs with hot water to keep things toasty.

 It did get down into the 30s last night, but this morning the plants were looking a-ok.  So, we’ll see how this turns out.

Today I transplanted my peppers and tomatoes that were growing in the soil blocks into cups.  They’re growing fine, but I don’t know how long they’re supposed to stay in the soil blocks.  I did leave a couple out just to see if they will keep up with the plants that are in the cups. 

That’s it for me.  I’m going to chill out and enjoy the rest of this Sunday evening.

(Mr. G, thanks for the plants)

Happy Gardening!!



  1. April 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Wow! Everything looks so great, way ahead of mine! I giggled when I saw what you did with the cold frame…it looks like a pillow on your lettuce bed 😉

    My lilies are growing beautifully, and able to hold their own against the dogs now. I’m anxious to see them blooming.

    • gardengoodies said,

      April 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      I looked in the yard from the street, and I had to laugh a little myself. I’m sure my neighbors are scracthing their heads.

      I’m glad the lillies are growing. I planted some of the jalapeno and golden bell peppers that you gave me last year. The jalapenos are the best looking of all the peppers. Thanks again.

  2. engineeredgarden said,

    April 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Well, I think your coldframe looks nice. The compost around the perimeter is a good idea that will help it stay warmer.

    • gardengoodies said,

      April 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      I don’t know if you can tell, but I used scrap wood to prop the back of it up and a couple more pieces of scrap wood on the sides to stop the compost from coming in. I’ve got three more windows and I’ll get the right wood next time.

  3. May 13, 2010 at 7:05 am

    […] May 13, 2010 at 7:04 am (Gardening Experiments, Square Foot Gardening, frost protection) Tags: frost protection of tender vegetables, growing squash I’ve been neglecting the blog recently, but I’ve been taking good care of the plants.  Here’s a quick update on the squash planted the day before a predicted frost : […]

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