If you don’t have a cold frame, making one would be a great weekend project for any gardener. During winter, the cold frame will offer protection to less hardy plants and newly started perennials. It’s also an ideal place to overwinter some plants or grow a small patch of lettuce or other cool-season crop. It simplifies the storage of bulbs and plants, too, for midwinter forcing indoors. COLD FRAMES like this one can be built in a weekend. This bottomless box acts like a miniature greenhouse, protecting young or tender plants from temperature extremes. P. Sumner, UGA CAES A cold frame is simply a bottomless box with a clear glazing or covering to let in light. Some gardeners make cold frames lightweight so they can move them from one section of the garden to another. You can build frames from a number of materials. Wood and cinder blocks are the most common. Never use creosote-treated wood or wood treated with pentachlorophenol or any other material that could be harmful to you or to growing plants. Wood frames aren’t hard to build. You can buy an easy-to-assemble kit. Some kits even contain automatic ventilation equipment. Ventilation is most critical in the fall and again in late winter and early spring on clear, sunny days above 45 degrees. Partially raise the sash then to keep it from getting too hot inside the cold frame. As the fall progresses, you may have to add extra insulation to the cold frame to reduce extreme drops in temperature. Straw, bags of leaves or foam insulation boards all help control the temperature in the cold frame. Or just stack bales of straw or hay against the frame. Some people like to experiment by using containers of water to absorb solar heat during the day and release it slowly at night. They make the cold frames larger to include the water containers. While this may be useful in managing temperatures, remember that it won’t help protect tender plants, which will need to be moved indoors if they are not cold-hardy. Sinking the frame into the ground somewhat will provide protection, too. It will use the earth for insulation. To make using the frame simpler, provide a walkway to the front, leave enough space behind the frame to remove the sash, and add weights to make raising and lowering glass sashes easier. Unheated frames are useful for much of the year because they collect heat from the sun through the panes. To make the most of the heat and light, put the cold frame in a southern or southeastern exposure with a slight slope for good drainage. A sheltered spot with a wall or hedge to the north will protect against winter winds.
With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, April 6 across your Caribbean-American community in South Florida.Coming up in the newscast, over 2,000 people tested at Palm Beach’s COVID-19 test site, Broward County Public Schools adds four new distribution sites and Jamaica extends the closure of its borders to mid-April.Now for the news in detailSince opening on March 31, more than 2,000 people have been tested at Palm Beach County’s COVID-19 drive-thru test site located at the FITTEAM Ballpark. During the fifth day of drive-thru testing on April 4, four additional lanes for testing were opened and a total of 724 patients were tested. The call center hotline, 561-642-1000, will this week to schedule appointments, pending receipt of additional test kits.Meanwhile, Broward County Public Schools has added four additional sites to its food distribution program beginning today Monday, April 6. The four new locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. twice a week – Mondays and Wednesdays. At these locations, families will be able to pick up meals for multiple days. The four new school sites are Castle Hill Elementary, Palmview Elementary, Margate Middle School and Parkway Middle School.In Caribbean News, Jamaica’s airports and seaports will remain closed to incoming passengers for another two weeks, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced. This means the borders will be closed until April 21. According to Holness, the extended border closure is aimed at mitigating the spread of the deadly COVID-19 on the island. Up to Sunday, Jamaica had recorded 58 cases of the virus, doubling the number of cases in just seven days. Prime Minister Holness , however, reassured members of the diaspora that considerations were being made to facilitate those who want to return home.Also in Jamaica, Controversial Jamaican dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel and his three murder co-convicts had their appeals dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Friday, April 3. The Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction, and thus all four men will remain behind bars. Following the verdict, Vybz Kartel’s Senior Attorney, Valerie Neita Robertson, QC, said she believed that the court has already agreed that the sentences of the men should be reduced, however, the lawyers have seven days to submit paperwork for the court to make a final decision. In 2014, all four men were sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.For more information on these and other stories, visit CNWNETWORK.com. Remember to pick up this week’s copy of our Caribbean National Weekly at your nearest Caribbean – American outlet.You’ve been watching CNW90,