Coldframe for Lettuce

I'm new to using Newsgroups. I'm a vegetable and flower gardener in Massachusetts (near New Hampshire border). I would like to get a jumpstart on growing some lettuce. I've read that I can make a simple cold frame from an old window frame supported over the ground with hay bails. I would like to know if anyone has tried this and might anyone have some growing suggestions?
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You could try it, but I would put some plastic gallon jugs in with the seedlings. When the sun shines on the jugs, it will warm them up and keep the seedlings warm during the night. You could paint them balck or dark green to get more heat out of them. How warm, I have no idea. That will depend on the size of the bed and area to be kept above freezing.
Dwayne

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Dwayne wrote:

Or you can add a few ounces of manure to the water in the plastic jugs. The manure dyes the water brown to absorb heat better and you will have well aged manure tea in the spring for fertilizer. I grown lettuce and cabbage all winter in temperatures down to 10F with no other protection other then being surrounded by milk jugs. Inside a cold frame, you could go much lower.
Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”     Cicero
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il Sat, 06 Mar 2004 03:43:11 GMT, "Lorenzo L. Love" ha scritto:

How big are those milk jugs?
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Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
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Loki wrote:

One gallon. A square of eight around each plant. In the spring after the lettuce dosen't need any help I move them around tomato and pepper transplants to protect them from late cold snaps, like a Wal-o-water. Later, just dump the manure tea out as a plant food.
Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”     Cicero
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il Sat, 06 Mar 2004 06:48:34 GMT, "Lorenzo L. Love" ha scritto:

So let me see if I've pictured this right. You have these jugs (plastic I presume) filled with water which releases heat at night. Do you put anything over the top? And do they work well for frosts? I guess they may work as wind breaks too which is a problem here. Cold Southerlies from Antartcica pack a bitter punch.
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Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
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Loki wrote:

As I said, no other protection. The coldest I had it here is 7F and only had minor frost damage to cold hardy leaf lettuce, head cabbage and bok choi. Normal winters of 10 to 13F, no damage. They grow slow in the winter, but they grow. A frost blanket should take it much lower but I don't need it here. From plants started last fall I've been picking the outer lettuce leaves all winter, the bok choi just got big enough to start harvesting a couple weeks ago, the head cabbage hasn't headed up yet, some years it doesn't head but it still makes good soup.
Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”     Cicero
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