Saturday, March 23, 2013

Window Cold Frame (Single Stem Post)

Here in CO we often get snow in April and May but I start getting excited about warmer weather and gardening in March so I usually have starter plants throughout the house for a couple months and they usually don't do well because I struggle with the last step of hardening them off before planting. Anyhow, this year I asked my hubby if he would prefer if I built a small seed starter house or a cold frame to solve my dilemma of starting plants early. He opted for the cold frame (don't tell him but I probably will build a little seed starter house some day as well - just can't get it out of my mind). I am very excited for the Cold Frame - easy to build and great benefits to the garden! A cold frame lets gardeners start plants a few weeks earlier in the spring and they can be planted right in the ground because the cold frame sits over them, so no transplanting! Plants that have been started in the fall can also last longer in colder weather - a freeze won't knock them out because they will have protection in their little home! Now when I say this is easy to build I am serious. It is a great project for beginning builders. Check out the easy directions below.
Enjoy this single stem idea of Window Cold Frame
1. Get a window. I bought mine off of Craigslist for $15. It's size is 28" by 56 1/2". If you can't find an old window you can get a piece of glass or plexiglass at a home improvement store.
2. Buy or scrounge up some wood (see drawing below to figure how much wood you will need). I got my end piece in the clearance section of Home Depot for 51 cents! For the front and back I bought a 16 foot 1x6" piece of lumber. To fit it into my car I had the guy at HD cut it for me into three 56 1/2" pieces and then I was left with a little scrap to attach my 2 back pieces (saved me some cutting also).
3. Cut wood (see drawing below).
4. Screw end pieces to front and back pieces. I used deck screws.
5. Screw hinges on window and then on back of cold frame. You can also add a handle (I bought a little birdie door knob from Hobby Lobby but haven't put it on yet).
6. Paint. I painted it an off white that we had for our house trim. The kids painted with acrylic paints after the off white dried.
7. Set in your garden and begin planting! (we planted some spinach, carrots, broccoli and lettuce).
*I also have a little stick out there that I can use to prop up when we water or when we want to let air in if it gets too hot.

Change dimensions to fit your window

Please BRAINSTORM your ideas/suggestions in the COMMENTS below for the Window Cold Frame!
Happy Gardening
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