When I started working at Gardener's Supply in the 1990s, my Vermont backyard was pretty green—with grass. Today, there's just a tiny bit of the original lawn left. Most of the available space has given way to trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and stonework. Watch a slideshow of my garden in Burlington, VT.
In addition to my work at Gardener's Supply, I work in the gardening division at Church Hill Landscapes. In that role, I maintain dozens of gardens and learn a lot in the process. I believe that all gardening is good gardening.
Top left: The design from Massachusetts gardener Rose Deskavich. Her creation, built on our 2x8 Elevated Cedar Raised Bed, inspired the Cedar Cold Frame, at right. Lower left: The Cedar Cold Frame used on the ground.
Pete Gay at work on the new Cedar Cold Frame at our manufacturing facility in Vermont.
Our product team is always looking for garden innovations. Sometimes, our customers come up with an idea and our designers take it to the next level. Last summer, customer Rose Deskavich showed us how she modified her Elevated Cedar Raised Bed, adding a custom cold frame so she could grow greens, parsley and chives through the winter.
"When I saw her Facebook posting, I was impressed and went to work to see how we could make one for our customers," says Cindy Goodenow, one of our buyers. She worked with Pete Gay, who runs our Vermont manufacturing facility, to come up with the design. "We made the front a bit taller to accommodate higher plants and added a few other features, such as side hinges, so you can open the top at different intervals. We added a pivoting center arm for extra support in windy conditions."
Our customer-inspired Cedar Cold Frame is sized to fit our 2' x 8' Elevated Cedar Raised Bed, with the same rot-resistant cedar and aluminum corners. The top is made with polycarbonate panels that diffuse light so plants don't "cook." Polycarbonate is also weather-resistant, sheds snow and water, and provides an insulating "trapped air" layer over the plants.
Like Rose, we chose the 2x8 size because its narrow footprint fits nicely beside a house or structure, where it is more protected. You can also use the Cedar Cold Frame on the ground — like a traditional cold frame.
Rose modified her elevated bed so she can grow all year around in Greenfield, MA, Rose didn't use the false floor and filled the bottom two-thirds of the bed with bark mulch. "The type of lettuce I grow in the winter is mache, which is a popular in Europe and grows well in cold weather," Rose says. "This winter I am also keeping the parsley, chives and scallions going in there." Her cold frame also protects crops from squirrels: "During warm weather, I do not take the top off because I have a problem with squirrels digging in it. I open the cover but keep a heavy-duty mesh cover over the top."
Grow Shelter: We designed this self-contained growing system, which is easy to tend and protects plants from chill, wind, heavy rain, insects, birds and animal pests — including deer, dogs and cats. We started with our Vermont-made, 4x4 Elevated Cedar Raised Bed. Then we added a powder-coated steel frame and two-part cover that's tall enough for big crops. The reinforced PVC outer cover protects plants from chill. Large zippered openings reveal the insect netting underneath and let you adjust ventilation. There are zippered openings in the netting, too, for easy access and to allow pollinating insects to reach plants.
Vegtrug Covers: Outfit your Vegtrug™ with a convenient frame plus durable covers. Options include:
Also available: Compact Vegtrug Covers
Improved Super Hoops: These customer favorites are now constructed from harder wire, with heavier gauge crossbraces
and stronger welds so they provide even better support for fabric. Made from two hoops
joined by 4-inch cross braces, they're easier to install than single hoops (no flopping!) and support fabric, bird netting and shade netting.
Frost Cover with Hoops
Patio Greenhouse: This portable greenhouse provides cool-weather protection for seedlings, transplants, and houseplants. The roomy interior has three wire grid shelves for lots of growing space in a compact footprint. A reinforced PVC cover protects plants from harsh weather, and its translucent white color provides filtered light to prevent sunburned plants. Powder-coated steel frame has durable nylon connectors; cover has zippered openings to let you precisely control ventilation.
Row covers with pre-installed hoops: All are reusable and fold flat for storage.
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