Keeping with the theme, today I dealt with other mistakes from other years. I’ll get to that after a bit. It all relates.
A couple of years ago as I was driving home, I spotted a whole stack of really nice windows that someone had put out by the road for the garbage truck. Breeeeee (those are my brakes). They were great Low-E double paned windows, heavier than crap, but I grabbed them all, maybe eight all told.
Today I laid a couple of them on the soil where my earliest tomato plants will go in. I did this last year and it worked great to warm up the soil early. The pre-warmed soil along with a double cover over each plant allows me to get several weeks’ jump on my first tomatoes.
And this is something I’m thinking about trying out as one layer of the double cover:
It’s one of my extra tomato cages cut in half covered with bubble wrap. Two of these contraptions are the perfect size to fit under one of the salvaged windows. I have to think on it a while, try to envision what it would be like to deal with in actual usage.
So back to the premise; mistakes. When I first picked up the used windows, I made a monster of a cold frame, heavy wood, heavy windows. Since the whole shebang was too heavy to be carting around the garden, I thought it would be a good idea to dig out a spot and put it below ground level. Nothing insulates like earth, right? That’s what I did.
The first year was wet, and for a few weeks the buried cold frame was a swimming pool. Mistake. The cold frame was too heavy to carry. Mistake.
Then last fall I filled the inside of the frame with bedding and used it for a red wiggler experiment. Whether it was the vole I saw when I lifted the lid or the cold, I don’t know, but I didn’t see any huge flocks of worms. Mistake.
Learn the lessons, try not to forget the lessons, and move on to the next thing.
With the help of my crickety old back and a hand truck, I hoisted the monster of wood and glass out of the earth and moved it temporarily onto our deck walkway. It should be great as a hardening-off spot for seedlings. That’s what it was meant to do in the first place. Sometimes we get too cute with the creativity.
Now I just have to convince the wife that it’s in her best interest to give up 4 feet of her flower bed on the south side of the house so she has a place to harden off seedlings.