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Post  jjphoto 3/18/2010, 11:35 am

What do you guys think about this?  http://www.burpee.com/product/gardening+supplies/garden+growing/double+cold+frame.do?search=basic&keyword=frame&sortby=newArrivals&page=1#  

I don't really have the budget for my dream greenhouse, but I thought something like this might help me get an early start next year.  What are your thoughts?


Last edited by camprn on 3/24/2014, 11:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : title)
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Post  choksaw 3/18/2010, 11:42 am

Not too shabby its got some decent hieight on it to help with larger growing plants and it looks to be very spacious. price is pretty decent too.
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Post  boffer 3/18/2010, 11:48 am

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Post  jjphoto 3/18/2010, 11:59 am

Pretty cool... can I sow seeds directly in trays in that cold frame? I'm trying to find a way to start seeds outdoors - I just don't have a place to do it in the house.
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Post  choksaw 3/18/2010, 12:06 pm

as long as you can keep the soil warm while outside i dont see why there would be a problem with sowing them in the cold frame outside

2 years ago i helped a friend make a mini greenhouse outside his house so he could grow plants and veggies year round keeping it warm inside was a small factor until i reccomended we modifie his dryer duct and add a filter to it so now when his wife is doing the laundry shes actualy helping the plants everytime she turns the dryer on by pumping warm air out into the green house
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Post  boffer 3/18/2010, 1:01 pm

choksaw wrote: shes actualy helping the plants everytime she turns the dryer on by pumping warm air out into the green house

Pretty clever...as long as she doesn't think the inevitable accumulation of lint is some sort of disease!
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Post  boffer 3/18/2010, 1:06 pm

jjphoto wrote:Pretty cool... can I sow seeds directly in trays in that cold frame? I'm trying to find a way to start seeds outdoors - I just don't have a place to do it in the house.

I don't know if you could tell in my pics, but I did direct sow broccoli, BS, and cabbage. Next year I'll try tomatoes and peppers.

I don't know if the soil surface temp is sufficient to warm a seeding tray. I'll have to try that next year too. Just an idea, maybe a cloche over the seeding tray, within the covered box, would add extra warmth.
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Post  choksaw 3/18/2010, 3:19 pm

no worries on the lint from the dryer thats why we added a filter box that uses the same type of filter home ac and heating systems use
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Post  timwardell 3/18/2010, 3:23 pm

choksaw wrote:
2 years ago i helped a friend make a mini greenhouse outside his house so he could grow plants and veggies year round keeping it warm inside was a small factor until i reccomended we modifie his dryer duct and add a filter to it so now when his wife is doing the laundry shes actualy helping the plants everytime she turns the dryer on by pumping warm air out into the green house
GREAT IDEA! cheers ...dang there's some sharp folks on this forum.
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Post  boffer 3/18/2010, 3:27 pm

Does this mean I'm gonna have to start washing clothes everyday instead of once a week?!
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Post  choksaw 3/18/2010, 5:36 pm

LOL they have 4 kids oldest being 8 so cloths is an everyday chore for her not to mention my buddy works on a road crew for the county so hes always dirty and smelly. the way we have it set up though maintains the heat pretty well although he did ad a humidifier for the winter.
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Post  camprn 3/18/2010, 6:01 pm

Hi JJ, this isn't directly related to cold frames but it does speak to your desire for an affordable greenhouse structure. I found this article via Stumbleupon

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/6Swa3H/doorgarden.com/10/50-dollar-hoop-house-green-house
Very Happy
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Post  choksaw 3/18/2010, 6:15 pm

amazeing find camprn thats almost exactly the idea i had swimming in my head although i never considered useing lumber but the pvc pipe zip ties and plastic sheathing where right on the money (kinda makes me wish we had seen that befor we built his out of 2x'4s and plexi glass lol) COLD FRAMES Icon_cheers
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Post  camprn 3/18/2010, 6:20 pm

Well, there's always next year. Here is another greenhouse made from reclaimed windows Very Happy http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1KDjjd/www.instructables.com/id/GREENHOUSE_FROM_OLD_WINDOWS/
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Post  LupinFarm 3/18/2010, 6:38 pm

I use polytunnels over my beds, kind of like coldframes, and I've planted direct into the soil. My garden is full sun, south facing, so obviously I'll have to cover my beds with a shade in the height of summer but for now that full sun is an enormous benefit to my raised beds with the polytunnels on them. I'll be installing thermometers this week.
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Post  jjphoto 3/18/2010, 11:40 pm

Okay, I need some splainin'. You can start plants early in a greenhouse, but not so sure about a cold frame? What's the difference? Aren't they basically the same thing, but just a greenhouse is larger? Or are people running heaters into the greenhouses to keep the temps up?

Grrr... never thought it'd be so hard to figure out how to start a couple trays of seeds early. Been looking into this for years and I just keep getting frustrated and giving up.
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Post  choksaw 3/19/2010, 12:15 am

to cut the confusion down a cold frame is basicaly a miniature green house some just take it to a larger level based on their needs you dont really need to add a heating unit or a humidifier to them as long as they are in a sunny spot. in order for seeds to germinate the soil needs to be a certain temp (seed packets usualy tell you) so if you have a very shaded yard (like my buddy) you may need to have a small heating unit or humidifier to keep the soil temp where it needs to be.
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Post  jjphoto 3/19/2010, 10:21 am

But if you're relying on the soil temp, then you could just sow directly in the ground and then cover the area with plastic when needed. I guess this isn't the solution I'm looking for.

I'm looking for something that I can sow seeds 8 - 10 weeks early like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.
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Post  boffer 3/19/2010, 10:47 am

Here's a couple more thoughts. Choksaw is right coldframe/greenhouse are basically the same thing, different scale. Neither works without a heat source be it the sun directly, a heater, or an alternative passive heating system. I think this is cool: Some larger farmers run water lines through their large compost piles to get heated and then the heated water goes to their greenhouse to warm it. I started playing with a passive solar water heater design for greenhouse warming this winter, but I don't have anything to show for it yet.

Different seeds need different temps to germinate. Peas will germ below 40, corn prefers 60+ etc. Some folks use tray heating pads to warm the soil. They are basically waterproof and designed for that purpose. My heated sfg bed coldframe is kind of a hybrid. I heat the soil to germinate the seeds, the plastic covering keeps the warm air dissipated by the soil enclosed for when the plants are growing.

Cold frames/greenhouses are not effective if you stick 'em where the sun don't shine!
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Post  Patty from Yorktown 3/19/2010, 2:20 pm

Hi,

I am finally getting around to reporting on my cold frame from last fall/winter. I made two different types, which had an old window from our house as the glass. One of the cold frames sits on top of the squarefoot garden bed and the other fit over the bed down to the paths. I had larger plants in one of the frames compared to the other, where I had started baby plants. I got to eat fresh from the garden lettuce for Christmas. Anywhere the plants touched the glass they froze and died. Both frames did well until we had 3 days of below freezing weather with no sun. Then I lost everything, but 4 baby plants. They have survived the winter and have now gotten large enough to eat. The cold frame lettuce is much larger than any of my indoor starts. I am pleased.

Patty from Yorktown

Ps. I just met Ward and his wife Mary.
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Post  camprn 3/19/2010, 2:33 pm

I remember when I was quite young my father teaching me how to build a hotbed, which is different from a cold frame in that we dug a hole and filled it with several inches of fresh goat manure, put an inch or 2 of soil over that and then positioned the frame above. We seeded into trays and into the soil. Heat was generated by the manure and the frame was warm and toasty very early in the season. http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/martin104.html
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Post  boffer 3/19/2010, 2:55 pm

camprn wrote:I remember when I was quite young my father teaching me how to build a hotbed, which is different from a cold frame in that we dug a hole and filled it with several inches of fresh goat manure, put an inch or 2 of soil over that and then positioned the frame above. We seeded into trays and into the soil. Heat was generated by the manure and the frame was warm and toasty very early in the season. http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/martin104.html

I hear of that frequently, but you're the first I believe ever had success with it. My neighbor tried something similar with his tomatoes in the ground. Each hole was dug deep enough to put uncomposted material into before planting the tomato. It didn't work. Maybe a whole bed is needed so there is enough volume of compost working.
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Post  SirTravers 3/19/2010, 3:32 pm

If you have some big south facing windows that get sun all day you can put your starter trays on the window sill. I'd do it more, but my cat and my 4 year old would knock all the starter trays down. hehe
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Post  jjphoto 3/19/2010, 7:18 pm

SirTravers wrote:If you have some big south facing windows that get sun all day you can put your starter trays on the window sill. I'd do it more, but my cat and my 4 year old would knock all the starter trays down. hehe

Nope, no place in the house at all to put them. At least I've got about 10 months to figure out a solution!
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Post  martha 3/19/2010, 9:03 pm

okay, Patty, so you met Ward and Mary and that's all you have to say about it????

Regarding the hot bed approach, I have heard a lot about it and have been intrigued - have never yet tried it, but I do believe you would need an entire bed to retain enough warmth to help.

I'm also anxious to try cold frames - was hoping for this spring, but am now aiming at the fall. I have started seeds indoors - with some peas started outside - but I have it easy because I can do it at work. At home with the cats - forget it!
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