Return to Content

Build a Cold Frame

Build a Cold Frame
8 votes, 4.38 avg. rating (86% score)
Print Friendly

Cold frames are excellent for starting new plants early in the season and extending the growing season into early winter. Essentially a modified miniature greenhouse, cold frames may be purchased at garden centers and home improvements stores for a few hundred dollars but are also easily constructed and relatively inexpensive to build. Now is a great time to explore this fun gardening option.

Cold Frame
If you decide to build a cold frame of your own, start with an old window sash or door frame.  Any open box style frame will do. If the window or frame does not have glass, install a clear plexi-glass insert to fit the opening.  Hinge the plastic glass to the frame and check to make sure that the opening is easily accessible for planting, watering and harvesting.

 Instructions to Install a Cold Frame

  1. Choose a sunny, South facing area for the cold frame. Dig a hole to fit the frame.  A depth of approximately a foot is needed.
  2. Place the frame at a slight angle to allow rain water run- off and fill the growing area with aerated and clean rich soil.  
  3. Plant seeds by following the directions on the seed packets. Leaf lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, baby greens and micro greens all grow fast and well in a cold frames and are great starter plants for novice cold frame gardeners.
  4. Water and cover the frame.  Do not over water.
  5. Check conditions and progress daily. Once established cold frames need minimal monitoring.
Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley (Fleming) Wigglesworth is an award-winning freelance journalist from Maine specializing in maritime topics and the commercial fishing industry. She is also a certified Maine Master Gardener who writes gardening articles on a regular basis for Yankee Magazine. Her work can be found in the following publications: The York County Coast Star, Portsmouth Herald, Bangor Daily News, Yankee Magazine (online), National Fisherman Magazine, Commercial Fisheries News, Tourist News, Points East Magazine, Coastal Angler and The Maine Lobstermen's Association’s “Landings.” Follow Shelley on Facebook.
Updated Monday, April 2nd, 2012
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

©2016, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111