Cold frames using recycled materials


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Cold frames function like a mini greenhouse because they are small enclosures, usually low to the ground, and protects plants from the cold. Cold frames have a transparent (plastic or glass) top, allowing sunlight to enter and trap inside. This prevents heat from escaping, which creates a micro-climate providing "several degrees of air and soil temperature insulation, and shelter from wind. In cold-winter regions, these characteristics allow plants to be started earlier in the spring, and to survive longer into the fall and winter. They are most often used for growing seedlings that are later transplanted into open ground, and can also be a permanent home to cold-hardy vegetables grown for autumn and winter harvest" ("cold frame", wikipedia).

The best cold frames I have seen were made out of recycled materials, found around the yard/house or in the woods. And usually when making cold frames out of recycled materials, this requires minimal materials, less work, and usually no power tools.
Most often I see the top of the cold frame made out of recycled windows or doors. Actually I use recycled glass shelves from an old refrigerator to protect the greens growing in buckets (here). The frame can be made out of recycled pallets/pre-cut wood, sticks/branches/logs, bricks, stones, cinder blocks, straw bale, and much more.
Here I show you the cold frame ideas made out of recycled materials, or minimal materials.



pinterest


pinterest


pinterest



Landshare



High mowing seeds


SHTF prepper


photo source



Bepa's garden


Cold frames can be as rustic or professional as you can manage. The mindset is to make it happen, rather than set yourself up for limitations.


Spotts Garden Service

When starting a fall or winter garden, do not think so large scale, because you may not be able to cover and protect all your plants. Usually I grow a small patch of greens throughout the fall and winter, and that is just enough to for a salad everyday. This year I wasn't as successful because of other challenges (squirrels and other animals digging up my seeds and eating the plants).



photo source

seasonal wisdom



photo source

Lastly, an important tip in making the cold frames: angle the cold frame so that it faces south, and the glass is 39 degrees from the back wall (which should be taller than than parallel wall.



Original post @ Cold frames made out of recycled materials

-Cassie K, veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com
 
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Wow, this is such a nifty idea. I've seen people with these before, but I never understood what was going on. I really like the idea of recycling things to create a better garden. These frames really add character, especially if you were to paint them to your liking. I think it adds a very vintage feel without looking like a junkyard.
 
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These are all such fantastic ideas, and I like the usage of old windows and doors. My neighbor is using plastic to put over his garden now as we are going into winter.
 
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I think my favorite was the first picture you posted, with the recycled window panes stacked up to make a "roof" type structure. I'm always fond of recycling and upcycling - it's a great way to re-use things that would otherwise go to landfill, and it seems to fit the purpose perfectly! Plus, I think it just looks really cute!
 
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This is a very inspiring thread, thank you for creating it, Cassie K. I don't have my own garden yet, so I can't build a cold frame, but I'll definitely do it in the future.
For now, I have a miniature indoor greenhouse and I grow ivy in it:)
 
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I would love to do this. I think I might be able to find the materials at a Habitat ReStore. Cassie, have you had any luck starting seeds in cold frames vs. indoors? Also, do you keep a thermometer in it to track the temperature?
 
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Cary

Menchhofer Tree Care
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I'm truly impressed with such great idea specially the first picture where you recycled the window glasses. It's not necessary to spend too much in order to beautify your backyard or rooftop, you just need to be creative and look for inspirational designs like this post! Thank you for the wonderful tips!
 

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