16 DIY Cold Frames to Extend Your Growing Season

Are you interested in year-round gardening? Would you like to be able to start your own seeds and have a designated place to harden them off?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, it sounds as though you need a cold frame. You can purchase them already put together, or you can save yourself a little money and create your own.

I’ve gathered a few plans for DIY cold frames and am going to bring them together in one convenient location for your browsing pleasure!

If you’re interested in including DIY cold frames into your gardening experience, here are a few ideas for constructing your own DIY cold frames:

1. The Wooden Cold Frame

diy cold framesdiy cold frames

If you’re looking for a simple and traditional style cold frame, you’ll love this option. The tutorial is clear on how to construct the wood frame.

Plus, you can easily add a couple of windows to the top. This shouldn’t be an expensive option but should fit in with any style of yard.

2. The Mobile Cold Frame

Many times, when gardeners construct cold frames, they don’t consider if they need to move it. This tutorial has you covered.

This cold frame is constructed from wood, has plexiglass windows, and has handles on the side to make moving it more manageable.

3. Cold Frame Garden Box

This is a neat idea for a cold frame. They constructed it in the ground, and it has a slope on one side, which allows rain and snow to run off.

However, the front looks basic with a window to add the warmth to the box. The back of it is shingled, and it has a roof. This is a durable, functional, and eye-pleasing design.

4. DIY Cold Frame with an Old Window

diy cold frames with an old windowdiy cold frames with an old window

If you’re into the wooden cold frame design, you’ll love this idea because it will help you get the look for less.

Build the wooden frame as the tutorial describes, but instead of purchasing a new window or using plexiglass, use an old window for the lid. It looks great, and your wallet will appreciate your frugalness.

5. Plastic Cold Frame

If you’d like to have a larger cold frame than some mentioned above, this could be what you need.

This cold frame has a wood frame and is constructed like a tiny house for your plants. The sides are plastic, and you can raise the lids all the way up, which makes for easier maneuvering.

6. Straw Bale Cold Frame

If you’re working on a tight budget, this is a fabulous idea. It looks neat and would certainly draw some gardening eyes to see what you’re doing under the straw bales.

Straw is an excellent insulator. Therefore, you create straw bale walls and use old window panes for the top to attract heat. This easy hack will keep your plants warm without breaking the bank.

7. Brick Cold Frame

It’s common to see cold frames built out of wood, but what about a brick cold frame? This tutorial shows you how to construct a durable cold frame with brick sides.

When finished, add glass windows to the top to attract heat. If you build this cold frame, you most likely wouldn’t have to build another one for years to come.

8. The Pallet Cold Frame

I love ideas which work for people with all kinds of budgets. Cash shouldn’t stop you from doing what needs to be done around your garden or homestead.

Therefore, if your cash flow is a little tight, you should consider following this tutorial and building a cold frame out of pallets. They look cool, allow you to upcycle unused items, and should work great.

9. Window Cold Frame

This cold frame is meant for you to be able to get inside and maneuver a little easier than some which are built strictly at ground level.

They constructed a wood wall but made the sides and front of the cold frame out of old windows. This will allow you to harden off many seeds, overwinter trees in containers, or garden year-round.

10. Cold Frame with Polycarbonate Panels

I’m a big supporter of polycarbonate panels because they last for a long time. I also like the clean, finished look they provide.

If you’d like to have a wood framed cold frame, but don’t want to pay the price for windows or have to hunt down a used window, this would be a great solution.

11. The Upcycled Cold Frame

extremely budget friendly diy cold frameextremely budget friendly diy cold frame

This cold frame is a great option for those working on a tight budget. You might already have the materials hanging around your property.

It uses a few old bricks to build the sides. Once you have the desired depth, use plastic packaging to seal in the heat. It’s functional and low cost. This makes the cold frame a winner in many gardeners’ eyes.

12. The Hoop House Cold Frame

diy cold frames and a hoop house in onediy cold frames and a hoop house in one

Some people prefer a hoop house design for both their greenhouses and their cold frames. This video walks you through how to turn a raised garden bed into a hoop house cold frame.

You must add a vent to help the plants breathe when under the plastic hoop house sheeting. Everything else about this build is simple, easy to use, and may even be less expensive than some other cold frame options mentioned here.

13. The Raised Cold Frame

This cold frame can help with your problem. It’s constructed from old windows but is built off the ground to make it more accessable.

Do you suffer from a bad back, but you love to garden? This can be a bad combination unless you modify the way you garden.

14. Skylight Cold Frame

diy cold frames from a skylightdiy cold frames from a skylight

Do you have a home where you’re removing or replacing the skylights in your ceiling? Don’t toss them in the garbage.

Instead, utilize this tutorial to construct a functional (and hopefully free) cold frame. The skylights will let through the warmth the same as they do in your ceiling.

15. Cinderblock Cold Frame

We use cinderblocks to create our raised garden beds. They’re easy to put together, cost-effective, and quite functional.

If you have cinderblock raised garden beds, you can quickly transform them into a cold frame using old windows.

16. Plastic Bottle Cold Frame

diy cold framesdiy cold frames

This is another budget-friendly option. If you can afford to construct a wood frame for your cold frame, all you must do is collect plastic bottles.

The bottles are used as the side and the top for the cold frame. This will help hold in heat and should extend your growing season without overextending your budget.

If you were looking for the perfect cold frame for your garden set-up, you now have 16 different DIY cold frames to choose from.

Cold frames are a great option if you’re looking for a safe way to harden off your seeds and have them ready at the start of the season.

Plus, it provides protection from snow and frost during the cooler seasons allowing you to raise crops year-round. We wish you all the best in finding the cold frame which meets your needs!

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