Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most commonly asked questions with our response.

What is a cold frame?

A cold frame is a structure built low to the ground with transparent lid and/or sides meant to trap solar radiation and prevent heat from leaving or rising.

Why are cold frames different from greenhouses?

The fundamental difference between a cold frame and greenhouse is the height in which they are built. Cold frames are typically built now higher than 24 inches. In all of our research, the efficiency exponentially drops as the structure is built higher than this.

How low of a temperature can you grow things in a cold frame?

Although many variables are in the answer to this question, a cold frame is said to increase your climate zone by 2 zones. In our area, Sandpoint Idaho zone 4-5, we have been able to grow a variety of greens through the whole winter, keep herbs producing not just living, and winter over rosemary and artichokes. Each spring we start our early spring and summer crops outside in the cold frame.

How well do the materials hold up outside?

As we're sure you have already read, we chose the materials we have so that they would last. The red cedar is very durable against the wet, UV, and pests. We use the corrugated polycarbonate for its durability, longevity, and the UV resistance. Polycarbonate will not get brittle or opaque over time like plexi-glass or acrylic. Also, polycarbonate will not shatter like glass. Galvanized and stainless steel fasteners and hardware

When do you need to vent the cold frame?