This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

collapsing cold frame

Today I checked my cold frame and saw it is collapsing. :-( The left side of it has bowed out and the top panels are sinking in under a full load of wet snow. (I'll add a photo here tomorrow.)

It had 3 feet of snow fall on it over the weekend - and then we had rain. The frame is a few years old now and was not designed to bear weight. I should have shoveled a path to it and cleared the panels of snow right away - but I told my husband, "no it will be fine". (wrong...)

So, I am looking into new cold frame designs.



Blogger Molly said...

Nikki Jabbour over at The Year Round Veggie Garden ( has some great designs, and if they can handle the snow in the Canadian Maritimes, I think that they'll handle a New England winter too.

February 14, 2013 8:02 PM

Blogger Steve Kirincich said...

I think the quick hoops cn be made quite rigid. If you are interested in borrowing the conduit bender, contact me. I live in Concord.


February 14, 2013 9:42 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Thanks - yes a great source! I have her book and am looking through it again tonight.

Tomorrow, I am planning to dig out an access to my collapsed frame and see what I can improvise quickly to protect the plants from cold temperatures coming a couple days from now.

February 14, 2013 10:15 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Steve thanks for the offer! Someday I really would like a hoop house.

My husband shored up my old cold frame today. The wood center front post had rotted and gave way under the weight if the snow. That made the sides warp out and the top panels sag down at the center :-( bummer. I'll post a photo to show the repairs. Fresh wood reinforcements and a sturdy cross panel to support the top panels in the case of more heavy white stuff of any type.

February 16, 2013 11:41 PM

Blogger Linda said...

If you've got an old window, there are some pretty easy designs. I built mine out of 1x boards, with 2x2 boards in the corners. If I had it to do over, I would probably use 2x wood instead, since it's cheaper (really -- even though it's more wood, it's of a lower grade, and therefore cheaper). It's also more insulating, but also heavier.

You can see mine in the link below, and I'd be happy to explain how I built it:

Then again, I have only recently put it into service, so I can't tell you how it works in the long run.

February 18, 2013 3:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just a thought - if you can get a window or sheet of plexi, you could prop it up using the banks of snow on the sides for the present as an emergency measure. snow is insulating, and you could buy time until you find something sturdier.

February 20, 2013 2:52 PM

Blogger ketz said...

Maybe you can fix it or replace it with a stronger one that can last even the snow comes. Good luck!

denver landscape

March 14, 2013 1:24 AM


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