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gardeing trowelI guess it's a little early in the season to begin thinking about gardening, but I can't help it. I live to have my hands in the dirt. I love the feel and the smell of it. That's why I'm bringing you this helpful suggestion on how to get your garden going a little earlier than you might have expected this year. The concept is called cold frame gardening. It's easy and highly effective.

Cold frames are nothing more than small self-contained green houses. They are generally about three feet square with an angled top to face toward the sun. One of the best things about cold frames is that you can build them utilizing materials which might otherwise have been considered scrap.

You can begin by finding the piece which you'll use for the cover panel. An old wood framed window works excellent. Your top panel will determine the dimensions of your cold frame. You can build them as large or as small as you want. The concept that I'm illustrating results in a cold frame which stores and moves easily and it sets up in a snap because the door hinge style construction allows the parts to be easily separated and stored when not in use.

cold frame

I'm not giving you a parts list or building instructions because this is a project which lends itself to personal style and ability utilizing whatever materials you find or have on hand. Take a good look at my design and review the links I've provided and I'm certain you'll come up with your plan. The top doesn't have to be hinged, you could make it completely removable. The dimensions can be adjusted to suit your desires and materials.

Be sure to make your cold frames tall enough to accommodate your growing plants. The weather may require you to leave the cold frame in place longer than anticipated. Be certain to make the top at an angle and face it towards the sun because that will give you the best solar gain. Cold frames can also be utilized over the top of a compost pile which will help to hold in moisture and heat, speeding the process of decomposition.

As always, please feel free to submit to us your gardening tips, links and photos. We'd love to make DIYLife your own garden of paradise online!

HGTV cold frame article.
University of Missouri cold frame article.
Ready made cold frames from EnviroCept.
Runner Duck cold frame project plans.


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