How To Build A Cold Frame Using Old Windows


The use of cold frames allow gardeners to extend the growing season. Before we share how to build a cold frame from old windows let’s look at using a cold frame.

Cold Frame In Spring And Fall

As far as the coldframe is concerned, September is to fall what March is to spring. Each is a busy preparation period – March for germinating plants for later outdoor transplanting.

September for starting plants which will mature in the coldframe in late fall or winter. September is also the time to make glass and putty repairs, and with cold weather on its way, a sash will soon be needed.

As for the specific uses for the cold-frame in fall, they are so many and diverse there is never enough space for all that could be done. The growing of sweet violets for example. But another excellent project – the coldframe vegetable garden.

The vegetable grower can sow seeds of lettuce, endive, radishes, Chinese cabbage and enjoy crisp salad material from November to Christmas.

In northern sections, lettuce may not head and cress may cease producing after October.

Immediate sowing, the use of superior seed for rapid germination, thinning lettuce instead of utilizing transplants, and providing extra night-time protection for the glass in order to save heat—all will help vegetables to mature faster.

Transplanted or thinned lettuce plants should be spaced 6 inches by 6 inches; Chinese cabbage and endive, 9 inches by 9 inches.

Soil for all vegetables should be loose and friable but not over-enriched with active fertilizer. Two shovels compost, 3 pounds sheep manure and one pound of superphosphate will suffice for a 6-foot-square area.

Application of a liquid concentrate every two weeks will keep growth active. The liquid is particularly effective for new garden transplants to the coldframe.

Using The Cold Frame In Spring

The main use of the frame is in the Spring when early-started plants are ready to be hardened off, preparing for planting out-of-doors.

Petunias, started in January and transplanted into 3″ pots, may set out in the cold frame during the early part of April. If the weather is very cold, cover the frame with burlap bags, carpeting, old blankets or some other protection.

After plants, winter in the frame and started growth (latter part of February or early March) give the plants us much air during the day as possible.

In normal weather the frames should close at 2 P.M. Several years ago before realizing that was necessary I had a number of Heuchera plants in the frame for propagation.

Normally this variety has large pink bells on stems inches long in early June. However, to my amazement, buds in the frame were touching the glass the first week in April.

How To Build A Cold Frame From Old Windows

By simply making a small greenhouse for your plants, you can get that garden going. By utilizing those leftover windows you can build a cold frame that will keep sun and water in and pests out. Learn more via

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