Tuesday, April 26, 2011

starts from seed & cold frame instructions

this year luke & i decided to start most of our vegetables, greens & herbs from seed for our spring garden & summer container garden. as we began germinating our seeds indoors & then moving them to our large window while snow was still on the ground, we realized this system just would not do. the starts looked lanky & certainly unhealthy.

once the snow passed, we decided a cold frame was the best solution for our situation, considering our lack of time & money.

luke began searching for the perfect cold frame design. we needed to be able to easily deconstruct our cold frame for our big move this summer. also, we needed a design that used what we had. once luke looked around, he came up with his own design for a working cold frame & is sharing it with us today!

luke's cold frame
-four windows with no cracks
*three smaller windows (ours were 28" x 16") for the sides & a larger window (ours was 28" x 28") for the lid
- ply board cut to match the size of the small windows (ours was cut to 28" x 16")
-two hinges
-16 screw eyes
-4 metal rods that are close to the same height as the sides

1. i used four old windows found on the side of the road. the three smaller windows (28” x 16”) served as three sides of the cold frame & the larger windowpane (28” x 28”) served as the lid.

2. a piece of ply board was cut to match the size of the small windowpanes. then i attached the large windowpane to the ply board side with two hinges on both sides for easy opening & closing of the lid.

3. i then screwed large screw eyes into the inside corners of the small windowpanes (two per each side of the window), which aligned when i put the windows together to form the sides of the cold frame. to hold the four sides together, i slid metal rods through the eyelets of the screw eyes (there should be four eyelets per rod).

4. this design allows for easy deconstruction into four small sections. when deconstructing, simply pull the four metal rods that hold the sides together.

our cold frame has been very successful in helping to begin our starts from seed.

we have been taking full advantage of this success & gifting our small herbs to friends.
we hope you, too, will build your own cold frame for this upcoming growing season!


  1. That's an excellent idea with the eyes and dowel construction. Hopefully we will get one of these built. I have been moving my seedlings in and out every day - following the sun! It would be a great space saver in the house, and a time saver as well.

  2. Genius! I love this construction and the moveability of it. Might have to give this a go this year. thanks!

  3. beautiful garden and the entire collective is great! Found you via Wolfie & the Sneak!