thinking about a coldframe

I recently found 8 double paned roughly 32" by 34" windows that a friend gave me about 10 years ago. I always meant to build a cold frame, but never got around to it.
We just recently moved to a new house, and I have a wonderful south facing side of the house with no shade that gets a small heat island even without being enclosed. It is close enough to the property line that I can't build a proper greenhouse, but I would be able to put in something small like a cold frame.
I would like to do something with insulated walls that will let me grow some greens in the Fall and early Spring. I live in SW Ohio, USA. (between zone 5 & zone 6) First frost is usually in mid to late October, and last frost is usually end of April to mid May.
Do any of you have experiences with cold frames that you feel would save me some headaches? Can you point me to some simple and heavy duty plans that I might be able to use? I think I'd like to make this my fall project.
Thanks!
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It's difficult to give explicit directions when one already has existing parts they want to use but there is plenty of info on line and I'm sure at your local library.
I wouldn't attempt anything too involved, expensive, or of a permanent nature, not right away. About forty five years ago I built a coldframe at my first house... I also was given someones old windows but I invested a lot of money in lumber and hardware and made it too large... I only used it one season and without much success... caring for coldframe plantings requires more attention than one might think. If I had it to do over again I'd forego the coldframe and go directly to greenhouse.
http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/resources/index.php?cat88
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Crockett's Victory Garden (the first edition; I don't know if they kept them in later ones) had some nice plans for a cold frame. You might be able to adapt them to your existing supplies. We had one that lasted for years, through some awful New York City winters. Chris
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Ohioguy wrote:

Old glass gets brittle, handle it carefully and don't try to cut it. It sounds like it is already in frames, leave it that way and built your structure around using those frames as there are.
David
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I did it with shower doors, windows and bales of straw. It worked okay. The next year I made a greenhouse from a dog pen. The cold frame was less labor intensive and dirt cheap - the greenhouse more fun. But I'm glad I did the coldframe.
Kate
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wrote:

More food for thought... Try a heated propagation frame. Might be more useful in Ohio.
--
Enjoy Life... Dan
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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Interesting, but I'd like to stay away from active heating if I can. However, I may very well place a dozen or more milk jugs of water in there to help regulate the temperatures.
In my ideal cold frame setup, I'd have a 200 gallon water reservoir buried underneath the cold frame. Then on the south side of the building, about 5 or 6 feet above the cold frame, I'd have a network of black tubules inside an array facing the sun, and a tiny pump to slowly move the water through there from the reservoir during the day. That would build up a lot of heat in the reservoir, which could help slowly release the heat passively through the only non insulated surface - the top of the reservoir tank. (located, conveniently, only a few inches under the bottom of the cold frame)
However, that's probably a bit complex for my first cold frame attempt.
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well it works. I have also read that some build frames above a compost pile for the extra heat.
--
Enjoy Life... Dan L (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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