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Building A Cold Frame

Fall has arrived, which means there are some gardening projects to get done before winter.  Building a cold frame was at the top of the list!

Is it just me, or does Fall seem to always arrive slowly and take a quick departure?  Nevertheless, Fall is probably tied with Spring as my most favorite of seasons.

Some of the summer crops are still coming in, but we cannot delay Fall gardening projects.

Why Build a Cold Frame

A cold frame is basically a miniature greenhouse.  I wanted some cold frames specifically for strawberries.  Some reasons to build a cold frame:

  • Perfect for keeping fresh herbs growing through the winter.
  • Strawberries and any low lying plants can be sustained through winter in a cold frame.
  • In the early spring, seeds can be started in the cold frame.


Building Supplies for a Cold Frame

For the box:

  • 4 – 36 inch 2X4’s
  • 4 – 24 inch 2X4’s
  • 3 inch Deck Screws (for top and bottom of cold frame)
  • 4 – 6 inch 2X4’s

For the top:

  • 2 – 36 inch 1X2’s
  • 2 – 24 inch 1X2’s
  • 36 X 25 inch Plexiglass
  • 4 – 12 inch 1×2’s cut on a 45 degree angle
  • Drill (top and bottom)

Steps To Building A Cold Frame:

  1. Measure 2, 6 foot 2×4 boards.  Cut the boards in half to 36 inches.
  2. Measure 2, 2×4’s into 24 inch pieces.  Cut the boards to 24 inches.  2 foot are left.
  3. Cut the 2 foot pieces into 6 inch pieces.  These were used as the corner braces.
  4. With decking screws, attach corner braces to the ends of the 36 inch pieces.
  5. Then attach the 24 inches on both ends to the corner braces.


You now have the box, or planting part of your cold frame.

For The Top:

  1. Measure and cut 1, 1×2 into 36 inch pieces.  You now have 2, 36 inch boards.
  2. Measure and cut 1, 1×2 into 24 inch pieces.  You now have 2, 24 inch boards.
  3. Using decking screws, attach these four pieces, making a frame.
  4. Place plexiglass on top of the frame.  Attach by placing corner braces on top of plexiglass.  Predrill the holes.  Finally, attach with decking screws.

Building Our Cold Frame Video



You can add hinges if you like, however, I wanted to be able to take the top off completely.  That being said, we skipped on the hinges.

You may want to check out the following:

Preparing a Garden For Spring

Interplanting a Garden:  Tips for Interplanting

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