REUSING WHAT WE HAVE: BUILDING COLD FRAMES

We are still working hard at getting our greenhouse put together and it is coming along great! We will hopefully be done next week. Last year we started a lot of seeds on February 9th. With that date quickly approaching and the greenhouse not quite complete, we decided to build a cold frame to get a few things started in. We had no money to put into the project, so we had to get scrappy again and use what we already had on hand. Our garden last year was made of cinder block raised beds. This year, we are planting directly into the earth, so we have a lot of blocks on hand that we could use for the cold frame. Here is how we did it:

We first found a location on our property that receives the highest concentration of sunlight. Next, we placed the blocks on the ground to form a tight rectangle.

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We then placed a weed barrier inside. We chose black because it will absorb and hold onto more heat.

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We overlapped the barrier and placed it tightly on the ground the entire length of our structure.

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Yes, it’s crooked, but we are imperfect beings and that is okay!

Then we stuffed straw into all the openings in the blocks to provide a bit more insulation.

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Last, we placed windows on top to let the sunlight in and keep the cold air out. At first I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not this would work. All the cold frames I had seen before were wooden and better constructed, so I put a thermometer inside to see. Boy, was I surprised! The inside has been about 12-20 degrees warmer depending on the sun that day. I am pleased.

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Peace, Nicole

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