Cold frame construction

Jim McKenney
Tue, 04 Jan 2011 14:08:59 PST
Mark, thanks for reminding us of Nearing frames. 


For those of you who are not old enough to remember them and have not
otherwise heard of them, Nearing frames are frames positioned so that they
face north; they also typically have an upward extension (a sheet of plywood
for instance) on the south side of the frame. This extension is of a height
to prevent any direct sunlight hitting the frame. Yet the light (glass
cover)  of the frame is completely exposed to the sky and thus gets plenty
of ambient light. 


Nearing frames were originally designed (I think) for propagating
rhododendrons. But savvy gardeners quickly discovered that the use of a
Nearing frame might make the difference between success and failure when
attempting those fussy plants which require “coolth” (for instance, in our
climate, Polygala paucifolia, Cornus canadensis, Trillium undulatum or
Cypripedium reginae). 


So, Nearing frames are used to keep plants cooler than they otherwise might
be; the sort of frames I was describing in my post are used to keep plants
warmer than they might otherwise be. If you have a wide range of
horticultural interests, you’ll eventually want to give both a try. 



Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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