DIY Cold frames

The weather in Tennessee has been a little weird. We have had several very warm days during the winter, and then a drop to freezing temperatures for a couple of days. The plants are confused. Bulbs are popping out happily thinking spring is here, but then a couple of below freezing nights hurt their leaves. It is not fair to the poor plants…or the impatient gardeners. El tiempo en Tennessee ha estado extrano. Tuvimos dias muy templados durante le invierno, incluso dias calurosos para luego caer a bajo cero solo unos dias despues. Las plantas estan confundidas. Los bulboas comenzaron a salir pensando que la primavera habia llegado, pero un par de noches con heladas han danando sus brotes. No es justo para las pobres plantas….o jardineros impacientes.

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We want to start some cool season veggies but we are afraid of a frost to come and kill our little seedlings. The solution? Cold frames! They are like mini green houses that fit on top of your garden beds. I decided to build cold frames for a couple of the beds in order to extend our gardening season and start growing some radishes, spinach, and carrots! Queremos empezar a sembrar los vegetales de temporada frio, pero tenemos miedo que una helada vendra y matara nuestraos brotes. La solucion? Marcos de frio! Son como mini invernaderos que cubren las jardineras. Decidi construir marcos para un par de jardineras para asi extender la temporada y comenzar a plantas rabanos, espinacas, y zanahorias!

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Making them was easy and fairly inexpensive. I had left over wood (thanks again Lauren and Matt) and I went to the store for hinges and plastic (I think I spent about 20 bucks). I used 4 mil transparent plastic sheeting, non treated lumber, screws, duck tape, and a staple gun. I looked up frames on the internet, and after seeing a couple of different designs I adjusted my needs and materials to create my own design. I didn’t follow any instructions, but I did keep in mid design ideas from internet searches. Hacerlos fue barato y facil. Tenia madera sobrante (gracias nuevamente a Matt y Lauren) y fui a la tienda a comprar visagras y plastico (gaste como 20 dolares). Use plastico transparente de 4 milimetros, madera sin tratar de pino, tornillos, cinta adhesiva duck, y una corchetera. Busque modelos en internet, y luego de ver diferentes disenos, ajuste mis necesidades a mi propio diseno. No segui instrucciones, pero si mantuve en mente las ideas de los disenos que vi en internet.

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The cold frames keep the heat of the day, warm up the soil, and protect the plants from overnight frost. This will be our first time using cold frames, we will use them for a few weeks until the warmth is finally here to stay, and then use them again during fall/winter. Worst case scenario: I lost some time and $20 bucks. Best case scenario: we grow veggies almost year round. Los marcos mantienen el calor del dia, calientan la tierra, y protegen a las plantas de las heladas nocturnas. Esta sera la primera vez que usamos estos marcos, los usaremos por un par de semanas hasta que el calor llegue finalmente, y luego los volveremos usar en el otono e invierno. En el peor de los casos: perdi 20 dolares. En el mejor de los casos: Podemos cosechar vegetales durante todo el ano.


6 responses to “DIY Cold frames”

    • Ana, it is not complicated. A little extra wood and plastic and you can start the beds a little earlier. We are testing it out, so keep an eye on the blog for updates about the progress. Who knows…maybe we can all grow veggies year round haahah

  1. Gran trabajo.
    I spent time today breaking ground in the raised beds this morning until the rain started. Spent the afternoon reading seed catalogs. Keep posting your progress, I like reading about your experiences.

    • Thanks George! Oh the seed catalogs…its what keep gardeners alive and dreaming during the cold months haha. We will keep posting about how things go. Best luck to you with thos raised beds!

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