Grow a winter garden outdoors with a simple cold frame! Here’s how to build a cold frame for cheap…
When winter weather arrives, even cool-weather crops may need some protection in colder areas. Tender greens such as lettuce and arugula usually won’t survive below-freezing temperatures. But with the right protection, you may be able to grow salad greens well into the winter months. The video below demonstrates how to build a simple cold frame that is designed to keep the interior warm enough to grow salad greens – even when temperatures dip into the teens and below.
It is important to build your cold frame in a sunny location to take advantage of the sun’s warmth, and to trap the warmth using proper insulation.
When it gets very cold outside (single digits), you will likely want to add more protection by covering your cold frame with blankets at night, unless it is under snow cover, which provides lots of extra insulation.
This particular version is a portable frame that can be placed on top of an existing raised bed, and which can later be moved off when the weather gets warmer. However, if you prefer to build a permanent cold frame that will always stay in one place, you can do that as well.
Use this guide as inspiration for building your own cold frame, and to save money, keep your eye out for materials you can salvage and use for your project. Old windows, sliding glass doors, marked down lumber, and other items that can be useful can often be found for free or very cheap at salvage stores or home and garden centers. You can also use clear plastic sheeting or – even cheaper – a couple of layers of old (clear) shower curtain liners for the covering.
Watch now to learn how to build your own simple cold frame for cheap: