06 January 2013

"new" coldframe

Here is my accomplishment of the day. I built a new makeshift coldframe. The last one, that I was so proud of, I sold when I moved- needed the money and thought I wouldn't have much use for it here. But I've realized there's lots of ways to garden on a little balcony, and as soon as I started seed in trays recalled I didn't have anywhere for them to be coddled outside when they get bigger.

So I brought over an old window that I'd saved at the house- it actually came out of an upstairs bedroom, I remember when we replaced that window. I saved it because I liked that it has a handle. Some of the joints in the casing were coming apart. The wood is too old to put nails or even screws in; I was afraid it would split. Instead I simply gave it a row of staples. It's holding together fine now.
Then I stacked two edges of wood pieces- I had very few on hand. Intended for them to be corner battens of a new-build coldframe but couldn't come up with any other wood for the sides yet....
and I made the sloped side out of cut cardboard- two layers. Yup. Pretty makeshift.
One side is the brick wall, the back is mostly the lip of the balcony edge, so I didn't have to stack as much as I'd thought. Of course, this would be a lot better with bricks, but I don't have any available (I looked around. Nobody's ripping up a patio for remodeling projects in january!) Even better with proper wood, screws and paint like the last job, but perhaps I'll get to that again someday. I'm still holding out on costs in hopes of being able to afford really good potting soil, since I don't have my own compost or ground to work in anymore.

Hm. There's a lot of drawbacks, here. It doesn't open and close easily, because I have to fit it back into that cardboard corner. There's no hinges (I do have some I scavenged but didn't fasten them on because I want to rebuild this more permanent later), and the back edge is rather wobbly so I don't know how easy it will be to prop open on warm days.... but it's a start. I'd be more concerned about weather except for the lucky fact that this seems to be a very sheltered balcony. We've had quite a few heavy rains and the pots on the outer edge hardly get wet, the back of the balcony against the window stays pretty dry. So I'm not too concerned about the cardboard getting wet, unless it's from drainage of the seedlings getting watered. But if it gets soggy I'll just cut another piece. Not too hard. I do have tons of cardboard boxes left over from moving...

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