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Cold Frame #2

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Project by justjoel posted 03-14-2013 09:11 PM 1502 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, last year I made a cold frame from a discarded skylight, and used it to some success. But it wasn’t very big and I was actually worried that it was too warm during the day, what with the double-paned Plexiglas – so I made a new one this year.

Pretty standard design, but I thought to gain some height by digging down some (and maybe insulation if not actual thermal heat from only going down a foot at the most). Good plan, but then I thought it should be angled some, so I propped up the back end and ran into cave-in problems. So I then had to shore up the sides and back with various wood scraps and bricks. If we have a major rain, or more snow and it melts too fast, I think I’ll be in trouble. Next time I’ll just sink in the front end and be done with it.

I’ll be transferring the onions, leeks, broccoli, and artichokes here in a day or so.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell



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justjoel

1063 posts in 2071 days
hardiness zone 7a

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10 comments so far

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 1788 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 03-14-2013 09:25 PM

Lucky you, you can actually dig in the ground and consider transferring to a cold frame. I can’t even see the ground yet and dynamite would be in order to try to dig up some dirt!

So, 2 cold frames are still better than one. It’s looks plenty good to me from here!

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

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justjoel

1063 posts in 2071 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 03-14-2013 09:41 PM

We were pretty frozen a month ago, too – but it made it to 70f this week (which is weird for even us for March). It’ll probably dip back down, likely just when everyone thinks it is safe to plant.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 2510 days

posted 03-15-2013 01:11 AM

They sure add quite a few weeks to the “green” season.

plants don’t really care if the cold frame is pretty but I have found that if you forget to open the window on a sunny day, that even if the temps are below freezing, the plants “Bake” and die

I found the above when I did a garden tour. Super simple and super inexpensive to make. Just bent hoops and stapled vapour barrier

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

111 posts in 1215 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 03-15-2013 11:36 AM

Very nice setup.
I want to make one also.

-- JTC

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2690 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-15-2013 02:14 PM

all looking good!!!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Tim's profile

Tim

16 posts in 621 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 03-15-2013 05:44 PM

Hey, this is great. I didn’t want to hijack your post, but wanted to ask how much extra growing you can get out of a cold frame. Are greens such as spinach possible throughout the winter in zone 6a? Greenthumb, do you really have to open them up every sunny day? Around here we start most days cloudy and it’s hard to predict a sunny day sometimes.

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Greenthumb

2290 posts in 2510 days

posted 03-25-2013 02:28 AM

Much depends on sunlight. Cloudy days, weeks or even months can change the temps in a heart beat, thus why many growers add heat. Zone 6a might be a stretch to get spinach year round.

I’m in the Okanagan Valley of BC and I’ld guess that if I drove for 15 minutes I would go from a 9a to a 2b. I’ve found it helps to know the climate your in but in any case if can lengthen a grow season from a month, to several months and growing vegetables/plants that were not possible to grow, to possible.

As for opening them everyday,…again, that depends on where you live. You can buy inexpensive temperature sensitive pneumatic pistons that will open and close them for you

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 2071 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 03-25-2013 05:32 PM

Yeah, my old one (the skylight thing) got to 130F on a sunny day when I left the thing closed – think I might use it instead to dehydrate apples or something.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View Tim's profile

Tim

16 posts in 621 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 03-26-2013 03:44 AM

Awesome, thanks. Yeah I just saw the pneumatic pistons at a garden supplier. That’s pretty slick. I haven’t ventured into the cold frames so far, but maybe I’ll throw together a quick hoop house to get a little quicker start. Then I’ll see what luck I have salvaging materials by fall.

Joel, I just figured out your signature, that’s clever. I’m a little slow at times. :)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4305 posts in 1953 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-26-2013 11:10 PM

Joel, great looking cold frame. Are the plants happily growing inside it now?

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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