Friday, November 12, 2010

Building Cold Frames

Well, the one cold frame is almost finished!! There are going to be two removable cold frames on this 4' x 10' bed.

First "The Italian" cut the front and back pieces of cedar. The front of the cold frame has three 2 x 4 's horizontally and the back has four. They are fastened together by adding three vertical pieces of wood that are screwed in to the boards.

View from the front. The bed comes right up to our deck in the back of our house.  

View from the back. As you can see, the cold frame rests on the bed. One screw was placed in each vertical piece to hold it in place.

Two pieces of wood were then added to each side.

"The Italian" then built the frame for the top. We covered the top with some plastic we had by using the staple gun. We really wanted to use plexi-glass...but, the cost was just too much! Next, we put some styrofoam insulation on each side. The insulation is attached with screws and washers. Then the top was attached with two heavy hinges in the back.

There are still a few little things to do to it before we can say it is finished. "The Italian" architect has some idea planned to hold the top open.

The only thing we purchased to date to build the cold frame is the two hinges!

I think my hubby did a wonderful job!!


  1. very NICE! I love the new look of the blog, too!

  2. That looks amazing! I love it. We want to build cold frames too, but we've been busy with other projects.

  3. Ahhh, brilliant, my friend!! Now you can move your cold frame to which ever bed you want, from year to year. Don't know why I didn't think of that when we did ours. The plastic on the top really stretched nice and tight! Ours didn't do that, either. I think it was too old. Nice job to you and your Italian dude.

  4. That's a fantastic idea! Hubs did a great job on the design...

  5. Excellent! I think I am going to make one too.

  6. Good job! My Superbed (essentially a raised bed with a roof) was more reminiscent of High Plains Drifter than your Italian engineering.

  7. Erin, Thanks a bunch! Glad you like the fall blog I have to come up with a winter one!

    Mimi, You will get to it sooner or later!

    Lori, Yes, they are movable...but I asked "The Italian" where are we going to store them?? He's says he has it planned so we can hang them in the garage! Although we managed to get the plastic nice and tight, I am concerned that the plastic is not heavy enough. We are going to look for some heavier plastic. I really don't want a plastic failure in the middle of the winter!

    EG, I'm happy to hear that you like the design. He has it all done on know how those architects are!! I'm planning to scan the drawing in and post it with the completely finished cold frames post.

    Kalipso, Glad that you like the idea and are planning to build one!

    IG, I'm sure that "The Italian" will be happy to hear that you liked his "Italian Engineering"!!

  8. I really like the way this was designed. And it would work great in the summer with a screen top to keep the bugs off lettuce, etc. Very nice job!
    I'm a little embarrassed about my just slapping an old storm window on a frame. I think hubby is getting a "forward" link!!

  9. Cleverly designed so it can be reused in several places! Looks good, and I like the thought of the insulation on the sides. You should put a thermometer in each one to monitor the temps. I bought some at WalMart for a couple dollars apiece. They're about 3 1/2 inches long with a hanging hole at the top. Just plastic, but they do the job. It's nice that you work together on this. It makes it more fun. If you had a probe thermometer, you could check the soil temps during their use. That would be interesting to find out what the inside soil temp is, compared to the outside soil temp. Good info to know! Soil temp is very important to germination.

  10. Sue, That's a great idea to put a screen on the top for the summer!! If we get the community garden plots for next year...I will definitely do that!! Thanks

    VP a/k/a Veggie PAK, I think that I'm going to call you VP for short! I am planning to put thermometers in the cold frames and am going to monitor the soil temperature as well. I will have to check out Walmart for a couple of inexpensive thermometers. I only have two old ones....and I'm hopeing that Santa will bring me a remote wireless thermometer!!

  11. The new cold frame is a thing of beauty! "The Italian" did a great job of conceptualizing and building it. Cold frames and grow tunnels add so much flexibility to the working food garden.

  12. Nice! I think I will try my hand at building a couple of these next year.

    It's amazing how expensive plexi-glass is! I think I'll keep an eye out on craigslist for some.

  13. I love it! It will extend your growing season in early winter. And it will be a great place to start seedlings early in spring.
    I enjoy this time of year when there is not a lot of work in the garden, but you can do some projects that you have been planing.
    And it was a nice sunny day for you!

  14. Laura, Thanks, I am looking forward to using the cold frames!

    Thomas, I looked on craigslist when we started these. I am going to keep looking over the winter though. I think it would be a lot less maintenance to use plexi-glass. The quote I got for 1/4" was $140 and 1/8" was $70 EACH!

    MojVrt, The weather here this past week has been very warm during the day....we have been enjoying it!

  15. Two garden-thumbs up! Very nice job! Now you have that season extending ability to grow more and grow longer!!


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