Home / Gardening / Green House / 10 Easy DIY Cold Frame Plans To Extend The Growing Season

10 Easy DIY Cold Frame Plans To Extend The Growing Season

In a previous article we discussed the numerous benefits of cold frame gardening and how to extend your growing season by weeks, and in some cases months. Having your own diy greenhouse is a wonderful asset to any home gardener, but cold frames are the next best thing. They are inexpensive, versatile, and easy to build. Here are some diy cold frame plans we gathered from the internet that will help get you started.

1. PVC DIY Cold Frame

PVC is lightweight, portable, and very durable. Frames constructed out of PVC piping, and a strong sheet of plastic for the cover, are light enough to be moved from one part of the garden to another. After using for seed starting and hardening off,  place the pvc cold frame by pvcplans over tender lettuce plants in the fall and harvest in early winter.

PVC DIY Cold Frame
PVC DIY Cold Frame, Image via: pvcplans

2. This Old House DIY Cold Frame Plans

Here is a plan for a very attractive DIY cold frame by thisoldhouse using a recycled window for the top. This one has been placed on a foundation of  bricks and is more permanent in nature than the lightweight PVC  model above.

Here are brief steps to build a diy cold frame

  • Measure the length of log side of window to get the length of one front and two back piece.
  • Cut the pieces to the length.
  • Mark and cut the angle.
  • Mark and cut the tall and short Battens. Then glue and screw the Battens
  • Cut and position the back pattern. After that glue and screw the back Battens.
  • Glue the four side together and attach hinges.
  • Install the pavers, lid and handle.
  • Cut the vent rod and position the frame.
This Old House Cold Frame Plans
This Old House Cold Frame Plans, Image via: thisoldhouse

3. The Instructable Plan

Again, this is a diy Cold frame by instructables that incorporates the use of recycled windows. You will notice that this diy cold frame is a bit deeper than most which is great for taller growing plants. As with all plans using old windows, take the time really clean them up, re-caulking if necessary, and paint the box itself with whatever color you like. This will help with durability.

The Instructable cold frame Plan
The Instructable cold frame Plan, Image via: instructables

4. The Seed Library Cold Frame Plan

For those of us with little time to spare, here is a cold frame plan by hudsonvalleyseed that is easy to implement and pretty inexpensive.  It uses a product called Suntuf, a poly-carbonate material for the frame itself, but this isn’t really necessary. Any scrap wood will do the trick and save you some money along the way. Once again, take a little time to prep the wood and it will last for years. You may also like to read Vegetables To Grow In A Greenhouse.

The Seed Library Cold Frame Plan
The Seed Library DIY Cold Frame, Image via: hudsonvalleyseed

5. The Sacgardens DIY Cold Frame

A good cold frame by sacgardens will heat up during the day, almost as much and sometimes more than a homemade greenhouse. This one is simple yet very attractive and uses basement window well covers for the top. The plans call for pressure treated lumber and the frame can be placed on a brick or cement block foundation. Pressure treated is heavy so don’t plan on moving this cold frame around without a little help.

The Sacgardens DIY Cold Frame
The Sacgardens Cold Frame Plan, Image via: sacgardens

6.  DIY Cold Frame From PPG

This is a plan for a very simple 5’ x 5’ cold frame by pondplantgirl that will cost less than $30. It won’t look as natural as some of the wooden frames discussed above and the plastic covers won’t last as long as the recycled windows, but it will get the job done. You may also like to read DIY Wood Greenhouses.

DIY Cold Frame From PPG
DIY Cold Frame From PPG, Image via: pondplantgirl

7. The Vegetable Gardener DIY Cold Frame Design

The Vegetable Gardener diy cold frame by finegardening focuses on a lightweight top for ease of opening and propping up on warm days.  In this case the top is made of a clear 8-mil thick sheet of vinyl stapled to the edge of the lumber framed top. Obviously, the vinyl is very lightweight, but over time it will deteriorate and crack, usually within a couple of years and you will have to replace it.

This isn’t a big job…just cut a new piece to the right size and re-staple. As you can see the cold frame itself is very well made and even incorporates a Uni-vent system for automatically raising and lowering the top based on the interior temperature.

Here are brief instructions to build this diy cold frame:

  • Cut SUNTUF panel in half in a way so that you have four panel that are 26″ wide by 48″ tall.
  • Make the Frame for the lid.
  • Finishing the lid. Using the drill bit make hole in every other valley of each panel’s ribbing along the top and bottom edges.
  • Make the frame for cold frame.
  • Attache the lid on the frame by using hinges and short screws.
  • The cold frame is ready.
The Vegetable Gardener DIY Cold Frame Design
The Vegetable Gardener Cold Frame Design, Image via: finegardening

8. The Grit DIY Cold Frame

If you really want to build an elaborate diy cold frame by grit consider the FarmTek model.  This could almost be called a “hoop house” and can be constructed on a pretty large scale. This one is 12 feet long and uses a very heavy plastic to cover the four foot high hoops.  You can certainly fit a lot of plants, even the tall ones, in this spacious frame.

The Grit DIY Cold Frame
The Grit Cold Frame design, Image via: grit

9. The DIY Network’s Cold Frame Plans

Here is a plan by hgtv that incorporates a little extra feature…insulation. While the finished diy cold frame looks like many of the others we discussed here, this one has insulated sides. The insulation is simple to install and will definitely help with heat retention. Be careful however even young plants don’t tolerate heat very well, so make sure you let some of that insulated heat escape when the outside temperature creeps up near 50 degrees. You may also like to read DIY  Mini Greenhouses.

The DIY Network’s Cold Frame Plans
The DIY Network’s Cold Frame Plans, Image via: hgtv

10. DIY Cold Frame Plan By SFC.Small Farmcentral

This diy cold frame by sfc.smallfarmcentral is made by using old window, scrap wood and hinges with screw. Remember few important things while making this type of cold frame such as keep the back tall than front side and boxes to short as compared to window for rain to run off.

DIY Cold Frame Plan By SFC.Small Farmcentral
Recycle Window DIY Cold Frame Idea By SFC.Small Farmcentral, Image via: sfc.smallfarmcentral

Wraping Up

Cold frames are nothing more than miniature greenhouses. If you build a couple right now, you’ll be off to a roaring start next spring and you’ll end the season well after the snow arrives. If you love to garden, get into cold frame gardening. You’ll be glad you did!

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

Check Also

wood greenhouse plans

12 Wood Greenhouse Plans You Can Build Easily

These easy plans for building a wood greenhouse will enable you to build a decorative …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *