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hendi_alex
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Cold frame

Cold frame was built early last year. It has worked very well this winter, allowing tomato starts to get full sun during the chilly months here in SC. The main problem is it efficiency. On a sunny 40 degree morning the temperature will soar to over 110 degrees if the lid is not opened very wide. I don't think an automatic opener would help very much as that would only open the frame about ten inches. So each morning I wait until about ten a.m., place the tomatoes inside, and open the lid about 30 inches. Here is a photo.

Image

My one largest tomato that survived transplant problems now has numerous blooms which are yet to open. Some years I've only planted seeds by this date. Hopefully we will set an new early tomato record this year. The largest pant was up potted to a three gallon nursery pot, well ahead of any previous year.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Re: Cold frame

Click on the image and you will see that the temperature, even with the lid wide open, is around 95 degrees on this 55 degree mid morning day.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

HoneyBerry
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Location: Zone 8A Western Washington State

Re: Cold frame

Very nice cold frame!
ISFP "The Artist"

Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Re: Cold frame

It is amazing how much heat gain you can get from something like that. At our new/old house that we just bought, the front porch is open with old screens flapping in the wind on 2 sides; (no windows) the remaining 2 sides are the walls of the house. Even on cold days it's noticeably warmer in that area even though it's completely open to the elements on 2 sides. The low angle of the winter sun helps. (It has a roof and faces south) I hope to close that in with windows this year sometime before next winter and it will really help with the heating of the house as a sunroom.
Am replacing all the old windows of the house a few at a time; now I know what I could do with some of the old ones: possible cold frames! Great idea with the cold frames.

JayPoc
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Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Cold frame

yeah....I leave for work every morning around 6:30. I can't really utilize a cold frame or hoop house properly because if I open it up when I leave, everything will freeze to death. If I leave it closed, everything will roast and die.

j3707
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Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Re: Cold frame

Nice! What are the approx. dimensions and is that plastic on the sides?
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

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hendi_alex
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Re: Cold frame

Box is about 40 inches by 60 inches by 30 inches tall. The face is made from the glass inset repurposed from a storm door. It is held in place with screws in the outer edge of the aluminum frame. The top is made from polycarbonate twin wall that was left overfrom our greenhouse construction. Cost was negligible since most everything came from scrap or repurposed material.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Gary350
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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Cold frame

We always called these Hot Beds because they get hot during the day. I have the same problem with plants cooking to death or freezing but it works great to start seeds for plants that don't freeze. I need to buy a servo motor to open the vent when the thermostat gets up to a certain temperature then close the vent at sun down.

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