This past winter was the first time in many years that no lettuce was over-wintered in a cold-frame. So, we made a new cold-frame.

 Materials List:

             8-2x6x8’ treated

             1-1X4X8’ treated

             2-2x2x8’ treated

             1 box of 2-1/2” deck screws

             3 storm windows with screens

The dimensions of your box will depend on the size of windows that can be obtained-these are aluminum.

DO NOT use old windows with lead paint!

3/19/10 filled cold frame with compost.

Seeded with Burpee’s Fordhook Summer Lettuce blend: Four Seasons, Lollo Rosso, Black Seeded Simpson, Buttercrunch, Salad Bowl, and Craquerelle du Midi. Covered with glass during nights and removed during the day. Screens were put in place once risk of freezing temperatures had passed.


             Many gardening commentators recommend “sowing over a period of several weeks” so that you get a continuous harvest of young, fresh lettuce. However, seeing as most of the varieties in this mix are “cut and come again” lettuces, there should not be a problem with bolting before getting them eaten.

             Also, a later crop will be sowed once most of the seedling have been transplanted into the kitchen garden or eaten. The later crop will be shaded by cucumber and flowering vines.

4/10/10 Many seedlings. Screens must stay in place or birds will eat the lettuce.

At this point, as a lettuce seedling gets it’s first set of true leaves, they can be transplanted into the kitchen garden.

Burpee’s Fordhook Summer Lettuce Blend Seedling Identification

Top left to right- Buttercrunch, Lollo Rosso, Salad Bowl, Four Seasons, Craquerelle du Midi, and Black Seeded Simpson

4/24/10 Here, the seedlings are now 36 days from sowing in the cold frame. We began harvesting the spring greens at 34 days. The process is to thin the lettuce, transplant the Lollo Rosso which are slower growing than the other varieties in the mix, and the Four Seasons; it is heat tolerant. This is the first season that I’ve grown Craquerelle du Midi and it is very lovely.

WASHING LETTUCE -Using the bottom bowl of an OXO Good Grips salad spinner, fill with cold tap water; toss and let dirt settle to bottom. Gently lift the lettuce into the spinner's basket. Empty the water into the garden and repeat process until lettuce is clean. Spin lettuce dry, placing a crumpled paper towel in middle to absorb more water.

Text Box: Cold Frame-Lettuce All Year