No go on hot beds

While watching the hot beds’ performance this past spring, the number of mature seedlings appearing in the hotbeds was significantly lower than the cold frame. It was primarily insects making a meal of the just-sprouted seedlings.

And once summer arrived, everything in there got scorched on a single hot day when I failed to vent it. Oops. Bummer for me.

I’ve permanently dismantled these hot beds for another reason, however. I did not think through the potential consequences of using actual glass windows (freecycle find) in the hot beds.

Given that we have two small children and one rambunctious dog running nilly willy right next to these all day long, it was only a matter of time before a sports ball or leg stepped right through the glass. And the glass is old school, non-safety glass. They’d probably go into shock from a massive cut before I could even get the EMTs here.

Upon disassembling the hot beds, I found multiple, significantly-sized ant nests. No wonder I could not get anything to grow in those things. I had similair issues with our floating row covers late winter / early spring which made for cozy homes for a myriad of not-helpful insects and slugs. For those of you who use hot beds and row covers to extend your growing seasons, how to you handle the significant increase in destructive insects?

I’ve gone back to heavy use of our single cold frame on our back deck that uses the solexx type material. Will likely either purchase a couple more of these in the fall and keep them up on the deck, or splurge for the full $750 solexx greenhouse kit and do battle with the insects again on the ground.