Create a Cold Frame for Your Garden

Get a head start on spring planting with this DIY cold frame.

Cold Frame

Cold Frame

Use this cold frame to give spring crops an early start.

Spring can’t get here soon enough. Garden planned, seeds purchased and a trowel at the ready. Waiting for that frost date to arrive is an exercise in patience. Sudden temperature swings in the North Carolina piedmont are not uncommon and planting in the garden prematurely can devastate a crop before it has even begun. Building a cold frame allows the intrepid gardener to get a head start with spring planting without risking late-frost disaster.

Kind of a mini-greenhouse, a cold frame at its simplest is an enclosed bay with a clear top that will allow sunlight in and trap heat. It requires attention, making sure temperature and moisture are appropriate, venting as necessary. But a cold frame is a terrific way to beat the limitations of the growing season, adding valuable weeks for the development of young plants.

Get a jump on spring planting using found or inexpensive materials. Visit the gallery below to learn how to build your own cold frame.

Cold Frame How-To

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Protect Your Plants With a Cold Frame

Tools and Materials

Measure and Cut Lumber

Measure and Cut Angled Tier

Assemble Box

Assemble Window Mount

Measure Placement for Foundation Vent

Cut Foundation Vent Opening

Attach Hood and Eye Latches

Attach Hinges to Window Frame

Attach Lid to Cold Frame

Insert Foundation Vent Into Frame

Your Cold Frame is Ready

A Permanent Solution

A Variety of Uses

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