Here it is the end of March and we are back in the -10 deep freeze at night. The last couple of weeks have been nice and warm and in the 10-20 deg range. Another couple of days of low temps and we might actually stay above freezing for awhile. So it is time to prepare for planting. We started with some small and thrown together cold frames in the last couple of years and decided to go bigger and better this year.
Using last years cedar frame cold frame as a starting point (1″x6″ cedar boards), this year we went with two new cold frames made out of 5/4″ x6″ cedar deck planks. Much sturdier and much easier to work with.
Pictured here are the old (left) and the new (right) cold frames up against the south side of the greenhouse.
We had gone to a reuseit store to purchase some old single pane windows for about $10 each and built the cold frame to match each window.

Here are the two new ones completed but not quite finished with the setup (slight slope, fill with manure and dirt, etc). 4″ latches and eyehooks will secure the window in an total upright position but we will just use pieces of wood to prop them open a little for the first few weeks after planting.
A half bag of sheep manure mixed in with a wheelbarrel full of dirt went into each of them.

The design was two planks high (approx 11″) with no slope as we would slope the entire unit enough for rain to drain off. There is no earth beneath ground level as it is pretty much rock. Each is approx 30″x30″ give or take. The windows are hinged with standard door hinges with removable pins so that we can remove the windows and store them when they are no longer needed.