What a difference a couple of weeks makes at this time of year, once January closes and a week into February, the light at each end of the day noticeably extends and the heat from the sun, when not obscured by cloud, is gaining in strength. This is a great time to sow some seeds in a cold frame.

A cold frame is a simple box structure with a clear lid that you can open and close. It harnesses sunlight to provide a warmer environment than the surrounding garden. While many people use it to extend the growing season or harden off seedlings started indoors, you can also use a cold frame to start germinating and sprouting your spring seeds. Can You Plant Seeds in Cold Frames? The answer is a resounding yes, cold frames for spring seedlings is a great idea. In fact, you should consider starting your seeds in early spring this way for a few reasons: With a cold frame, you can start seeds as much as six weeks earlier than you would put them in the ground and you can control the soil content more easily in a cold frame than in an outdoor bed. A cold frame provides the right conditions of moisture and warmth. A few vegetable plants that can be sown now: lettuce, spinach, kale, rocket /arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, radishes.

A cold frame should be sited on a south facing wall out of the wind. The base should be soil/gravel so that your plant trays touch the ground, hopefully preventing frost.

As usual we are very busy here at Bell Plantation, we have just planted 60 Betula Jacquemontii in the Courtyard following the re alignment of the paths. Our plan is to uplight them when they have grown a little.

Luke and his team are busy laying concrete paths in the plant area. This programme is running a little later due to the frosty weather. New poultry pens are under construction. Its all got to be ready for 1st March 2019!! This is when the sun could come out and be really hot, or it could be frozen for another month, who knows? The excitement of running a weather dependant business!

Have a great weekend

Ashley

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren has lived and loved horticulture and agriculture all his life; he had his first greenhouse at the age of 10 and his first cow when he was 16. He started landscaping in 1984 mainly in Milton Keynes and then all over the country. He moved to Daventry Road Farmhouse in 1987 and has developed Bell Plantation Garden Centre in Towcester, Northants over the last 30 years.

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