I started all of my cold-tolerant edible seeds several weeks ago: lettuce, tatsoi, cilantro (coriander). Those seedlings have been eager to get into the ground, and they're ready. The problem is the weather. Although we've had a few warm days here and there recently, temperatures in March are quite a bit below normal. The forecast a few days ago indicated that we'd expect nighttime lows of around 20ºF  (-6ºC) for a couple of days, and I don't want to expose these tiny seedlings to those conditions.

Since I need the space on the plant table for the next round of seed starting, I decided to build a cold frame over part of the veggie bed so I'd have a place to put these little plants regardless of the weather.


I've had these PVC pipes laying around for a couple of years, ever since I stopped building my temporary greenhouse each winter.

It was surprisingly easy to find a few of the right length, and then I just connected them together, using hose clamps where needed.

Some electrical conduit scraps helped tie this into the ground for extra stability:

The frame went up in no time at all:

There are a few plants in the ground here already, like this fall-planted spinach which overwintered under straw:

They'll appreciate the extra heat too.

Next came the plastic (the kale has been covered in a wire hoop and plastic tunnel all winter):

This one is not so pretty, but it's only going to be in use for a month or so (I hope):

The whole thing became even sturdier after the plastic was attached, and these clips are key for that:

They're designed to snap over the PVC pipes, and do a great job -- although when used on a larger project like the greenhouse I found they didn't have the holding power that I expected, so I needed to screw them into place.

So that's the cold frame. Now all it needs are some plants... you'll see that tomorrow.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (March 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM)  

Great frame

I'll try and making one to shade my sunny deck.

The Gardening Blog  – (March 19, 2013 at 4:31 AM)  

Hey - how simple that looks! Thanks for that!

Unknown  – (March 19, 2013 at 4:24 PM)  

Awesome idea! I may have to try this next as I am always looking for new practical/economical ideas. Just did my first Winter Sowing project this year. Can't wait to see the outcome!
Thanks for your post!
Feel free to stop by it is my first blog with humble beginnings but learning.

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP