Tag Archives: building a hotbed

Photos from our hotbed-making class


I’m finally posting photos from the Growing Food class we hosted at our farm on March 25th. The class was great! We learned about seedling care and transplanted some radish and kohlrabi seedlings into our garden beds and into containers for everyone to take home. We also built a hotbed on the property to help get our seedlings growing despite the cool nights and frosty mornings. 

Hotbed-making basic steps:

  • dig a 2-3 ft deep trench the size of your bottomless coldframe container.
  • fill it to ground level with manure (does not have to be completely composted because heat from it is helpful)
  • set the coldframe on top
  • add some topsoil on top of the manure (the height of your coldframe may dictate how much topsoil you add because you want to make sure your seedlings are close enough to the top that they’re getting light through the glass cover)
  • plant your seeds/ seedlings
  • monitor for moisture and add water as needed

It’s been a couple weeks since the course and the kohlrabi seedlings we planted in our hotbed are doing great. They look larger and healthier than the ones we planted directly in our unprotected garden beds. We’ve been comparing the temperature of the hotbed soil with the outdoor garden soil (using a soil thermometre) and there seems to be a fairly consistent 10 degree difference.

To find out more about the year-long Growing Food course in Maple Ridge, contact Gail at greenspaceconsulting@live.com. She teaches the course and will put you on the mailing list for updates about upcoming dates, locations (which vary from month to month) and topics. Hope to see you there!

Learn How to Build a Hotbed at our Farm this Weekend!


Image credit.

This Saturday, March 25th, is the newest workshop in the Growing Food course series that Gail Szostek is teaching in Maple Ridge. The Growing Food course is a 12 month workshop series that teaches hands-on gardening skills every step of the way through all four seasons.

This month’s workshop will focus on growing and transplanting seedlings with the hands-on part of the session taking place on our farm! FUN!

The indoor part of the workshop will be held at the CEED Centre (11739, 223rd Street in Maple Ridge), beginning at 12pm. After that, the group will head over to our property to learn how to build a hotbed – a great garden structure that helps seedlings get established even when spring weather isn’t. The class will officially wrap up at 4pm (but we’re happy to give farm tours to anyone who wants to linger for a little while).

The workshop costs $40. RSVP’s aren’t neccessary, but are helpful. If you’d like to RSVP, please email Gail at greenspaceconsulting@live.com.

We hope to see you at the workshop and at our farm! For more info on the Growing Food course, see the workshop event link on the GETI website. 

UPDATE: Here’s some more info from Gail… 

Hi all!

The next Growing Food Session is this Saturday, March 24.  This time we will be talking about starting your garden plants early.  We will be starting at 12:00 noon at the CEED Centre, in the outside shelter area; we will be looking at different types of containers and soils to grow seeds in; we will be learning how to avoid “damping off” and learning how to “prick out”; we will be learning about what to watch for in seedling growth; and you will each get to take a seedling home with you.   We will learn which seeds you can plant out in your garden now, and which ones need to wait.  About 2:00 we will be travelling over to the Moerman farm to build an old fashioned “hotbed” which is the perfect place to start plants early without added electricity but still ensuring unseasonal warmth for the little seedlings.  We will be digging, shovelling, hammering and constructing, so wear your work clothes and bring your gloves and shovels.  The weather is supposed to cooperate and give us a nice sunny spring day, so it should be AWESOME!!