COMPOST HOT BED -- a biological heat mat! A trick passed down through my father from my grandfather for growing heat-loving, long season vegetables like cucumbers in a cold climates with a short
growing season: Hot underground compost bed -- bacteria provide the underfloor heat!
Dig a deep trench, fill with straw and manure in the proper proportions (5 gallons chicken droppings mixed with 1 wheelbarrow full of straw), wet, and cover with at least 12" of soil. Plant
seeds and protect with cold frame or cloche.