Cold Frame Plans for the Garden

Learn how to build a five-piece garden cold frame that is easily removed during the off-seasons and will jump-start the growth of spring seedlings.



Seedlings
Cold frames are a great way to safely sprout seedlings in early spring when the air is still cold. They can also protect plants from early frosts in autumn.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA
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The knockdown cold frame consists of five separate parts, which can be put together, or disassembled, in minutes. This basic construction technique can be used for most cold frame sizes. The example shown here is about 8 feet long and 2 feet wide, and slopes from 12 inches high at the rear to only 6 inches in front.
PETER J. WOROWIEK AND CLARENCE KINKELAAR
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Note this simple dovetail arrangement which secures the corners. The joints are fixed in place by inserting a large nail (as shown) into a hole drilled right through all the pieces of the assembled corner. The nail can be removed easily for disassembly.
PETER J. WOROWIEK AND CLARENCE KINKELAAR
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Three screw eyes, two on the rear wall and one on the cover's back edge, provide a "take-apart" hinge for the cover panel (which should be topped with some type of transparent material). A nail or bolt is slipped through all three eyes to complete the hinge. Three of these assemblies will support the cover of an 8-foot cold frame.
PETER J. WOROWIEK AND CLARENCE KINKELAAR
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The cover panel of the cold frame can be held open (for ventilation or plant tending) with two pivoting support boards as shown. Each of these is drilled at set intervals, and a pair of matching holes (one in each end) are bored in the cover's framework. The lid can then be secured in a number of positions by inserting nails through the support boards and the cover holes.
PETER J. WOROWIEK AND CLARENCE KINKELAAR
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The completed cold frame is an excellent place to start your spring seedlings. And, in the autumn, you can set the cold frame over late crops to protect them from early frosts.
PETER J. WOROWIEK AND CLARENCE KINKELAAR











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