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Video:How to Build a Cold Frame

with Debbie Dalrymple

Build a cold frame to begin your growing season earlier and extend it later in the year. Here are some tips on how to build a cold frame.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Build a Cold Frame

Hi, I'm Debbie Dalrymple for About.com Garden. Today we're going to talk about how to build a cold frame. A cold frame is simply a little box with a window on top to help keep the weather out and extend your gardening season.

Find a Spot to Build a Cold Frame

If you don't already have plants that you're trying to protect into the cooler season, you may want to just choose a nice, sunny location keeping in mind where it's going to be sunny in the cooler months when the sun's lower in the sky. Watch for trees in the surrounding area, maybe in your neighbor's yard even to make sure they're not going to be blocking the lower lying sun in the cooler months. So choose your location based on either the sun or what you already have growing that you're trying to protect.

Measure the Area for a Cold Frame

The next step that you want to take is to measure the area that you're trying to protect with your cold frame. We'll take these measurements and cut the wood to meet these measurements.

We'll need two matching ends that are slanted. We'll also need a front piece and a back piece. The back piece should be about six to 12 inches taller than the front piece, and when we put them together, they'll be slanted towards the south where the sun will be coming in in the cooler months. And then lastly, we'll need a top that's made out of something clear like plexiglass or an old window.

If you have an old window that fits the size you're trying to protect, this is the perfect opportunity to reuse something. Most of my cold frames are built out of old windows from a friend's construction project. So this gives you an opportunity to reduce the amount of money you're spending to build your cold frame.

Assemble the Cold Frame

Once we have our four pieces and our lid assembled, it's time to screw them together. Let's get some wood screws, and a drill, and we'll screw these pieces together to form our cold frame.

The last step in building our cold frame is to place the lid. We're going to get a couple of hinges, screw them into the back of the cold frame and then into the lid so we now have a way to open and close our cold frame for easy access for harvesting and also a way to open it up for a little bit of ventilation when it gets too warm in the cold frame.

A good idea is to buy a cheap thermometer and stick it in there, because you'll be surprised how much warmer it is in the cold frame than it is outside.

This will be a great way to extend your season and keep you eating fresh veggies further into the winter.

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