As stated in the last post, spring is near and inspiration and old ideas are flowing fast. Remembering that I have two old patio door windows, and seeing this post a while ago at One Straw, I figured it was time to build another cold frame. I scored these windows a few years ago after a friend told me he saw them for free on a boulevard. That year we built a very similar cold frame, but much later in the year. It is March the seventh, it is in the mid forties, and the sap is finally starting to run and we are going to start gardening soon.
The basic construction consists of ten bales, preferably straw, but hay will work also, two patio door windows with the frames removed, one eight foot long one by four as a center support, and a piece of lumber 12-14 inches in length as a vertical support for the eight foot length of one by four. Keep in mind this design was built with what I had on hand and can be adapted to what ever materials you have that will work.
I started by clearing out as much of the snow as I could and creating a foot print for the cold frame to sit in. After that it was placing the bales in the cleared out area with a few final adjustments. I ran the eight foot length of one by four down the middle of the cold frame and supported it by another piece of wood as a central support for both of the windows. The plan for the cold frame has two objectives: 1) To start salad mix and spinach within the next week-week and a half, and 2) to act as a green house for the first of our seedlings that have been started under an indoor light.
Ideas such as cold frames and green houses are great ways of extending our growing season, especially up here in Minnesota. As always there will be more posts on the cold frame and the green house and how these simple ideas will be helpful to all of us as we enter a world where we all need to be more responsible for where our food comes from.
P.S. As of press time, it is now 72 degrees in the cold frame!