Old Window Cold Frame

Make a Protective Place for Seedlings

If you're at all handy, and you have some old windows, a bit of lumber and some hinges, recycle them into a very useful cold frame.

Old Window Cold Frame

Cold frames have typically been used by gardeners throughout the ages to extend the season, especially first thing in the spring, when nights are cool and sometimes threaten frost. 

Those tender little seedlings need some protection, and recycling old windows into a great almost free cold frame is the perfect place for them to harden off, and get ready for life in the great outdoors.

Most often, this type of frame just keeps the temperatures a tiny bit above freezing; they tend not to have any source of heating, such as a soil cable. 

Old Window Cold Frame - opened for ventilationOld Window Cold Frame - opened for ventilation

With any kind of cold frame, it's important to be able to regulate the temperature easily. 

Attaching the frames with hinges is the best way to achieve this, and having a small stick to prop them up which is adjustable so the plants can have air through the warmer temperatures in the day time, and then the top can be closed at night for cold protection.

Recycled hinges hold the windows on to the baseRecycled hinges hold the windows on to the base

Even the hinges are recycled; notice that they are two different kinds!  They work, regardless.

If you don't have any old hinges around, use an old time replacement; pieces of fire hose, or leather, screwed or nailed on in their place.

The stick will hold the windows open for ventilationThe stick will hold the windows open for ventilation

Sometimes you need just the right twigs for handles; these work perfectly for funky, yet functional handles.

Twig HandleTwig Handle

The lucky recipient of this great recycled project should be glad to have something this useful for raising seedlings, lettuce and greens, and starting tender tomato and pepper plants. 

In an ideal world, there would be a base made of concrete blocks or bricks, which could be filled with soil, or even lined with a heating cable.  That would be the ultimate. 

Alternately, this could fit perfectly over a hot bed, for a natural source of heat. 

If it looks like a real cold night ahead, cover the whole thing with a blanket, newspaper, cardboard or any other insulating material. 

In a pinch, spread dry leaves over it, and cover with plastic. 

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