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Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Quest for the Holy Cold Frame - Extended Edition

This is the long, detailed version of an article that I contributed to my wife's blog (Loving Our Guts).

A while back, I was cleaning out some old lumber under our back deck and ran across a nice big sheet of 1/4 inch thick glass.  In the spirit of The Big Clean-Up  (a favorite of mine from my childhood and arguably a factor in my hoarding instinct), I decided to build a cold frame so that we could garden into early winter and start again in the very early spring (actually, I'm giving January a shot for a starting point this year).  In this post, I'll describe the process with lots of pictures and lessons learned along the way.

Since I like flashback, I'll start with the final result:

First off, I figured I should attempt a bit of research.  I procured Building & Using Cold Frames: Garden Way Publishing Bulletin A-39  (the Kindle Edition will save you 79 cents off the budget busting $3.95 list price) and skimmed an article on Mother Earth News on the topic.  I'm enough of a guy that I wanted to forge my own path, so I decided to make my own plans.  So armed with a decent recollection of my high school wood shop class, I set out to design my cold frame.  You may wonder how I arrived at my design.  I used the following design parameters: