Friday, May 7, 2010

Cold Frame!

Last night, I'm proud to say, I finished my cold frame. Well, almost. It still needs some foam around the top of the frame part so that way the seal is good when the door is closed.

But, this morning when I checked the closed frame, there was condensation on the inside of the glass! Condensation = heat (like on your bathroom mirror after you take a shower). This is great! Condensation even without a solid seal!

So here are the photos. I put in the tomato seedlings this morning. More on that a bit further down.

I used a really solid, double-paned, butt-heavy glass door. The heaviness helps the frame seal well, though I loathe the heaviness a bit. But, especially once I get the foam on there (tonight!), the seal will be excellent for keeping warmth in at night.

I used cedar fenceboards (again) and I stuffed plastic bags between them so that way the front and back were insulated well. I double-layered the wood for the two sides.

I'm going to leave the handle on the door. It makes it easy to lift, and it looks pretty nifty. I may paint the door... I haven't decided yet. Right now it's black. That's a nice color, but all the dust shows so easily. And I need to also remove the metal scraper at the bottom. It's just held on by screws, so that should be easy.
And here are the tomato seedlings, added to the frame this morning! I put netting over the top of the frame to keep out the stupid neighborhood/feral cats.

The second tray of seedlings. I'm hoping that with the direct sunlight (rather than the weak fluorescent bulbs) they will grow like weeds. Everything else in the garden is growing fast, and I need my tomatoes to hop to it!
I only propped the frame open a bit. It's supposed to get warmish today (68 degrees), but these seedlings are used to a warm laundry room. This will keep it non-roasting, but a little warmer than if the frame was wide open.

So, paint or no paint? Just the door? Or the sides too? Thoughts??


  1. Wow, I am so impressed by this project - never thought about using a door. It looks really great. I'm got a giant old window that I was thinking about converting but it has several problems, one being that it doesn't open. I'm getting out the power tools today though so we'll see how it goes...

  2. Thanks Sonja! I found the door at a home recycling center. It's pretty heavy, so using a window instead could be a good thing-- that's what my neighbor has.

    Now to have a living roof somewhere. I love yours!

  3. I think it could look good painted OR not painted. I actually think really like the way it turned out! How about replacing the doorknob with a handle, though?


  4. Thanks Kelly! The door is technically painted right now, so I think the question is whether I repaint it. I think it looks pretty decent too.

    The problem with a handle is it needs to be sturdy enough for me to lift up a REALLY heavy door. The knob stays in one place, so I can lift, knowing the thing will stay in my hand and not move. If I remove the doorknob and and drill in separate handles, then I have a hole where the doorknob was. If I put in a door handle (, then it may not be so sturdy when I go to lift up the door.

    What I need is this type of door handle/knob. The hole would be covered, and man, that looks sturdy (and expensive...)!!

    But you get me thinking! I will keep an eye out for something that could work.