Cold Frame Gardening
The idea of cold frame gardening is not new. Like a greenhouse, a cold frame is a means to trap heat in and create an environment more suitable and controllable to get a better harvest. One of the major difference is the raised bed feature. This is what really increases the benefits of cold frame gardening.
Though generally smaller than a greenhouse, cold frames are enclosed raised beds that also have a lid of sorts that allows the light to come in and contain the heat. Raised beds maintain a higher soil temperature on their own and with the addition of a glass or clear plastic lid, also keeps humidity higher than the air outside. These two factors allow for you to plant sooner and later into the growing season. By using cold frames, you are effectively expanding your growing season by as much as six weeks a year!
Many people use their cold frames to grow greens and other quick-maturing edibles. Leafy vegetables, green onions, and even carrots will all do very well in these growing conditions. Having an easily removable or hinged lid allows you to protect the crops during storms or night dwelling pests, too!