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cold frames

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cold frames

Post  deb walter on 1/2/2013, 10:39 pm

We would like to make a cold frame or hot box to start plants in the spring as well as help them keep warm in the winter. I'd like to see how some have done it. Use glass? Use plastic? Size? Heat source - I'm wanting to try burying manure as we have horses.? I'd like it to be portable and light enough that even I can move it around. We live in southern Utah - cold winters, cold nights, and hot summers with lots of sun all year long.
Also, I'm interested in what kinds of natural, easy ways people have shaded tall plants like tomatoes or cucumbers. They like shade here in the afternoons in the summer.
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Re: cold frames

Post  Kelejan on 1/3/2013, 1:37 am

glad you\'re here deb walter happy hi
In the upper left corner of this page, try googling "cold frame". I bet you will find a lot of information then you can ask more questions.
Let us know a little bit of your gardening achievements so far, eg, how long have you been square-foot gardening etc.
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Re: cold frames

Post  quiltbea on 1/3/2013, 8:13 pm

Welcome to the forum.
My coldframe was very simple because I had to make it myself and I'm not very good at it.

Its 12" wide board, cut in 2 ft and 4 ft lengths. Screwed on the ends with inside braces.

The lid is made with 1" x 2" pieces, cut in the same lengths as the base, again with the braces on the inside angles and screwed together. The top is plastic tacked around the edges.
Note: I found that the rain made the plastic droop so that I had to dump out the water every time it rained. Otherwise it worked well. I have since got some window panes to cover my box.

I made a slanted indentation in the soil in the shape of the boards so my box angled a bit higher on the northside. My boards are not angled, just the soil. The box sits on a raised berm where I plant some of my extra crops.
I put a brick on each corner to hold the lid in place. I can open it for air in the same manner, resting the lid on top of the bricks.
I started many greens and lettuces here early and hardened off several crops last spring. It sure came in handy.

Coldframe under cheesecloth to extend lettuce production in the summer.
I don't use any heat nor do I extend my crops into late fall at this point in my gardening so I have nothing to contribute for that.
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Re: cold frames

Post  camprn on 1/3/2013, 8:17 pm

QB, I think it is a very nice, serviceable cold frame. And I think you are super clever! Wink

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