Garden News Blog

Extend the Growing Season

Cold Frame
The view from inside a cold frame in BBG's Herb Garden. Photo by Michael Ratliff.

The first frost is coming soon. But, before you bemoan the end of the growing season, consider building a cold frame so that you can enjoy your own home-grown vegetables throughout the winter months. A cold frame is like a miniature greenhouse. It collects and traps solar energy and converts it to thermal energy (heat), creating an environment that protects tender plants from freezing temperatures.

If history is any indication, Brooklyn can expect its first frost sometime between November 11 and November 20—giving us a little time to get cold frames built and lettuce planted. To learn more about cold frames and how to build one for your yard or garden space, read Extend the Garden with a Cold Frame.

To figure out when frost is coming to your area, websites like have handy interactive frost maps that gives street level detail on the average annual first frost dates in New York Sate. If you're curious about frost dates around the country, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has created a frost probability table that provides the probable first dates of frost by state.

Rebecca Bullene is a former editor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is the proprietor of Greenery NYC, a creative floral and garden design company that specializes in botanical works of art including terrariums, urban oasis gardens, and whimsical floral arrangements.
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