How To Make A Cold Frame

How to Build a Cold Frame for Fall and Winter Gardening
How to Build a Cold Frame for Fall and Winter Gardening from

A cold frame is a simple and effective way to extend the growing season for your plants. It creates a microclimate that protects your plants from frost and provides them with the warmth they need to thrive. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to make your own cold frame.

1. Choose the Right Location

The first step in making a cold frame is to choose the right location. Look for an area in your garden that receives full sun and is sheltered from strong winds. Ideally, the cold frame should face south to maximize exposure to the sun. Avoid placing the cold frame under trees or near structures that could shade it.

2. Gather Materials

Next, gather the materials you will need to make your cold frame. Here is a list of the basic materials:

  • Old windows or clear plastic sheets
  • Wooden boards or cinder blocks
  • Hinges and screws
  • Tools (saw, drill, screwdriver)
  • Soil

3. Construct the Frame

Now it’s time to construct the frame of the cold frame. Here are the steps:

  1. Measure and cut the wooden boards or arrange the cinder blocks in the desired shape and size. The typical dimensions for a cold frame are 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, with a height of 1 to 2 feet.
  2. Attach the boards together using hinges and screws. If using cinder blocks, arrange them in a square or rectangle shape, leaving an opening for the entrance.
  3. Place the frame in the chosen location, making sure it is level and stable.

4. Add the Cover

After constructing the frame, it’s time to add the cover. You can use old windows or clear plastic sheets for this purpose.

  1. If using windows, attach them to the frame using hinges so that they can be opened and closed.
  2. If using plastic sheets, staple or nail them to the frame, making sure they are securely fastened.

5. Prepare the Soil

Before placing your plants in the cold frame, you need to prepare the soil. Here are the steps:

  1. Remove any weeds or debris from the area inside the cold frame.
  2. Loosen the soil with a garden fork or tiller to improve drainage and aeration.
  3. Add compost or organic matter to enrich the soil and provide nutrients for your plants.

6. Plant and Maintain

Once the soil is prepared, you can start planting your cold-tolerant crops or transplanting seedlings into the cold frame. Some suitable crops for cold frames include lettuce, spinach, carrots, and radishes.

Remember to monitor the temperature inside the cold frame and adjust the cover accordingly. On sunny days, you may need to open the cover to prevent overheating. On cold nights, you may need to close the cover to retain warmth.


By following these steps, you can easily make a cold frame to extend your growing season and protect your plants from frost. Remember to choose the right location, gather the necessary materials, construct the frame, add the cover, prepare the soil, and plant and maintain your crops. With a little effort, you can enjoy fresh produce from your garden for a longer period of time.

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