Extend your growing season with cold frames
Feb 9, 2024, 12:00 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a gardener’s dream to be able to grow vegetables year-round. However, it’s not so easy with the changing seasons. Luckily, there are ways you can extend your growing season.
Utah State University Extension Professor JayDee Gunnell joined KSL Greenhouse Hosts Taun and Maria to discuss how cold frames can help you garden for just a bit longer.
JayDee built a 24-foot by 50-foot high tunnel, a taller and wider version of a cold frame. After experimenting with it, he realized there were some advantages.
“What I’ve noticed is that I can get a month earlier planting in the spring, and I can extend my season by a month on the backend,” he said.
Cold frames are different from greenhouses. Greenhouses can be heated or cooled depending on how you control their temperature. On the other hand, cold frames can only rely on the sun for their heat source.
“I’ve learned the hard way that inside that high tunnel is easily 30 to 40 degrees warmer than outside [during the day]. Then at night it still freezes and it’s at ambient temperature because there’s no inputs,” JayDee said.
Although there’s not much he can do with it at this time of the year, he can start looking into warm-season vegetables come April.
For more information, check out this in-depth report from Taun and JayDee.