I've never actually had a cold frame. I did build a 50' long hoop
greenhouse once, but haven't tried using a cold frame to extend the
Our new house has a roughly 25' wide south facing wall on the outside
of our attached garage. It gets a lot of sun. I wanted to have a
lean-to greenhouse, but it is within 12' or so of the property line, and
I doubt I could get away with the greenhouse. A small row of cold
frames, on the other hand, might work out.
Can anyone give me some ideas on materials to use? I'm thinking of
using wood and polycarbonate panels, and perhaps insulating the inside
of the wood - or would the outside be better? I'd like them to be
several feet deep. Even just standing next to that wall outside on a
cold but windless day, you can feel quite warm.
I just built one for my wife last October. Ours backs up against the
greenhouse which backs up against the south side of the house. It's
14' long and 3' deep, 2.5' high in back and 1' high in front. It has a
foundation or base of 4" x 4" treated lumber and a frame of 2' X 4"
I made the sides from double-walled polycarbonate panels left over
from the greenhouse construction but the front is plywood, just in
case I get careless and kick it while loading or unloading plants. The
top is two doors, hinged at the high side, made of 2" X 2" treated
lumber frames holding sheets of polycarbonate. Given the slope from
back to front, snow and rain run off. Almost forgot; I used gravel to
allow a path for water in the coldframe to drain to the outside.
Although it's been in the 'teens here in Maryland, my wife reports
that there are a lot of happy mums in her cold frame.
Old windows and doors, with the glass panes intact, are what we have
tried to use. Build up the sides with , oh, 1x6 or 2x6, hinge your
lid and you are good to go. Use a few sticks, of differing lengths,
to raise the cover/ventilate when days are warmer.
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