As winter comes to an end it is time to start thinking of spring planting. Often the nights, and sometimes the days, are still too cold to start your garden plants. Starting flowers as early as March is possible with the help of a cold frame. A cold frame is a box that sits on top the soil. It has a clear lid that allows the sunlight in. This makes the ground and air inside the cold frame much warmer, allowing you to start your flowers earlier in the season.
Fill seed starting trays with soil-less potting mix. Leave 1/2 inch of space between the top of the mix and the rim of the tray. Water the mix until it is evenly moist throughout.
Sow the seeds in the trays, following the plant spacing and depth requirements on the seed packet. Mist the surface of the soil with a spray bottle.
Place the cold frame on the south side of your house to take advantage of the most sunlight possible. Push the frame into the soil at least 1 inch so drafts can't blow under it.
Open the lid of the cold frame and set the seedling tray inside of it. Close the lid. Sun shines through the glass and creates a miniature greenhouse inside.
Place a thermometer inside the cold frame. Prop open the lid as needed to maintain a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Farenheit, or what is recommended on the envelope for the specific flower variety.
Water the seedlings as needed to maintain moist soil. Transplant the seedlings to their permanent place in the garden once all danger of frost has passed.