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Learning to garden in the fall and winter is an important part of SHTF preparation. And building a cold frame is the first step to extending your growing season to 365 days a year.
Why Garden in the Winter?
Learning to stretch your growing season for your vegetable garden into the fall and winter months is a great survival skill. Winter gardens protected by Cold Frames and Hoop Houses can give you a consistent harvest of fresh vegetables all year long. Even in the coldest winter months, there can still be hardy winter greens and even a few root crops fresh for harvest.
Having fresh homegrown veggies in the “off-season” provides an important food source and also offer some variety when all you are used to eating in the winter months are canned foods.
What Vegetables can you Grow in the Winter Time?
After Building a Cold Frame there are over 25 crops that can be grown in the colder months of fall, winter and early spring. Highlights include:
- Swiss Chard
- Other hardy greens
Building a cold frame or hoop house can also allow you to grow some of the less hardy cool season crops late into the fall and can also help you get an extra early start on your spring cool season crops as well.
Building a Cold Frame is the Key
Garden Cold frames are simple boxes, usually with a slight angle towards the sun. These boxes are then covered with some type of glass or plexiglass lid. They are fairly easy to build and will cost you between $100 to $150 for a 4 x 8-foot box. Two 4 x 8-foot boxes will provide enough food for one person to last an entire winter.
The combination of the wooden boxes and the glass lids provides a warm protected environment for crops. They will stay fresh and slowly continue to grow during the cold winter months. With some planning and with proper crop selection you can have something fresh to eat from your garden every day of the year.
You can learn about building a cold frame including step by step instructions from this great tutorial.