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The challenge word this week is gardening. Even thought it’s only April I already have plants growing in my garden! It’s a wonderful thing to watch little plants grow. (Much like I enjoy watching little rabbits grow). 🙂 How is this possible with the cold weather we’ve been having? I built a very rough cold frame to protect them. I thought I’d walk you through how to build a simple cold frame.
Why This Build?
I know it probably would have been better to build an actual cold frame. Cut some wood, attach the plastic and what not. Should have, but I didn’t. I figured that fold away frames and plastic sheeting would do the trick without creating a storage problem. I am actually hoping over the summer to create a cold frame that I can easily store. I’ll use wood, PVC, plastic sheeting and zipties. Stuff I have around the house. But for a quick fix this spring, during a week of warm weather, this is doing the trick quite nicely.
What you need
You will need
- odd pieces of PVC. I used to have a dog and we did agility so I used the pieces from the old agility equipment. OR you can buy new and cut them to size.
- Plastic sheeting
- zipties, baler twine, something to attach the sheeting to the PVC
- long branches at least nine feet long
Doing the Build
I sorted out the long sections of PVC pipe to figure out what lengths I had available and where to fit them in the garden.
Then it was just a matter of matching similar lengths together, and using them to build a basic shape. I wanted to have a longer support on the top and then two legs to stick into the soil. Placed about 10 inches apart and covered with plastic sheeting would protect my young plants from frost. I connected the lot with elbow or t’s whichever fit.
I wasn’t looking for pretty, just functional. Red-neck fixes are just fine for me. 🙂 The importance was… would it work. It’s not like I was pursuing the art of gardening today.
What I have loved about this build is that when we had a big wind storm come through I just pushed the supports lower into the ground and nothing blew away or apart.
OH, but don’t let me get ahead of myself. I secured the plastic sheeting to the supports using a pair of scissors to cut small holes in the plastic. Then it was just a matter of pushing through some baler twine to tie it down.
I used bricks once I had everything secured to simply hold the plastic down so it wouldn’t blow around in the wind.
Couple other quick cold frame builds
I also made a couple of other quick builds. One for early peas (a teepee shape) and a light protect for lettuces.
This build was really easy. I stuck branches in the ground and then wove baler twine around it. It was then a matter of planting peas and then winding my leftover plastic sheeting around it and tying it in place.
I did one of these for the first time last year, in a plastic barrel, and it was great to get some early peas. 🙂 This is my first year trying it out in an actual bed.
The other build I did was very similar to the first one, but I didn’t have enough plastic to cover the sides. This makes it an open cold frame which doesn’t offer the same protection. I planted seeds that need very little protection (so parsley, purlane etc) stuff that is predominately for the bunnies. 🙂
Now, you might not be like me and want to simply make do with what you have. Perhaps you would like to know more than how to build a simple cold frame. You may be more skilled in the area of carpentry, or simply like something else better. I don’t blog a lot about gardening, but one of the people I follow who knows TONS about gardening and actually blogs about it is Kim at Homestead Acres.
I’ve listed some resources below that might help you. Just so you know, I did use my amazon affiliate link.
How about you? Have you been out in the garden lately? Planted anything or had lovely flowers come up or anything? Share your gardening posts with me!