From starting our seeds in the early spring to harvesting and preserving the rewards in the fall and extending both ends of our growing season using cold frames, gardening has become more than a hobby for us. Every season is an experiment leading to a range of successes and disappointments, taking what we learn, or think we learn, to the next season. Our hope and mission is to inspire people to come closer to where their food is grown.
The function of a cold frame is to utilize passive solar energy similarly to a green house, trapping heat inside the space and allowing UV light to your plants. In a green house it is beneficial to add materials such as gravel, bark, large rocks, jugs of water... to increase the thermal mass. Every evening the stored heat dissipates and rises to the top 2-3 feet of the structure. A greenhouse is a large space to heat, fans are sometimes used to circulate the warm air that has risen to the top bringing it back down to where the plants are.
In a cold frame the thermal mass is the soil the plants are growing in. Building a frame lower to the ground holds the warm air down low next to the plants as it disipates from the soil throughout the night. Because a cold frame is so efficient at trapping heat, it is important to know when to vent. Example: On a 40*F day, with good sun exposure, an un-vented cold frame can reach temperatures as high as 90*-100*F effectivley cooking your plants. A vented cold frame will allow the excess heat to escape and maintain a comforatable temperature throughout the day. Before the sun sets and the evening shadows cool the night, close the lid to maintain warmer ambient air temperature inside the cold frame. If temperatures are not getting above 40*F leave the cold frame closed. In our cold frame we have monitored soil temperature up to 20*F warmer than outside soil temperatures, a great place to start seeds.
If you have used a cold frame or a greenhouse, you have probably cooked a few plants from forgetting to vent. The automatic venting system we have added to our cold frames has practically eliminated the possibility of overheating the plants. The automatic vent system vents through the back panel and the manual vent system vents through the lid with 6 locking vent adjustments. Inside the cold frame can always be accessed through the lid for watering, harvesting, and tending.
Materials & Quality
By combining the rot/pest resistant properties of western red cedar with the durability and transparency of the corrugated polycarbonate and using galvanized/stainless fasteners, these cold frames are built to withstand and last through the seasonal elements. Whether you are starting seeds, hardening off seedlings, growing a spring/fall/winter crop, wintering over perennials, or simply protecting your plants, our cold frame is "The Tool for Gardeners".
Made in USA
Cedar Cold Frames were designed and tested in Sandpoint Idaho. North Idaho has one of the most challenging gardening climates in the US, making the region a perfect area for testing a cold frame.
We pride our success on the materials we have chosen to construct our cold frames. Red cedar, corrugated polycarbonate, and galvanized and stainless fasteners separate our product from what you find at your local garden supply store. By selling exclusively to the end gardener, we can provide a quality cold frame for a reasonable price.
"We first saw Cedar Cold Frames at the Eugene Green Home Show in the winter of 2014. We were so impressed with the design and the possibilities, that we purchased one on the spot. The next day Eric and Elise delivered it to our back yard.
During the next few months, inside that one cold frame, we produced dozens of veggie and flower starts including about 100 tomato plants - 8 different varieties! We enjoyed the bounty of a prolific organic garden and were happy to share extra starts with grateful family members, friends and neighbors. We had such a positive experience with the Cedar Cold Frame last year that we've already got seeds planted in it for 2015. We saved so much $$$ last year by growing all our plants from seed. And we chose our favorite organic non-GMO and often heirloom seeds. And the ergonomics of the waist-high style is so easy on our backs!"
R & M Postal
"I LOVE the Cedar Cold Frame!! Last year I planted lettuce, spinach and beets and they took off with the help of the enhanced heat inside the cold frame. It extended the growing season well into fall. The brackets in two sizes for keeping it open are convenient and easy to use. The cold frame fit inside an existing raised bed perfectly and was really easy to set up. Everyone who has seen it has wanted to know where I got it. It's well built and very light so moving it is no problem. I planted lettuce about 10 days ago and it looks great. Looking forward to another wonderful growing season with my Cedar Cold Frame!"
"We used the cold frame to get a head start on our vegetables, mostly tomatoes. The cold frame is easy to assemble and it provided good protection for our young seedlings. By the time they were reaching the top of the enclosure they were ready to plant. Instead of growing long and lanky as they would inside the house, the box provides plenty of light so the plants grow evenly and strong. The box top opens easy to allow more air on warmer days. Once the plants were on their own, the cold box breaks down flat and is easy to store.
You can see the abundant tomato crop in the attached pictures. We had 23 tomato plants,12 peppers and other seedlings in the box from early April. None died even through cold nights. We live in Portland Oregon.We are very pleased with the cold box and are getting ready to use it again this year."Thank you very much,Jan & Marianne
"We are *very* pleased with our cold frame over the past 2 winters. We are able to harvest spinach and Swiss chard all winter long, and actually this winter was on the mild side in Eugene so we are growing more than we can keep up with! It is the perfect size for 6 chard, 6 spinach, and 6 lettuce. The polycarbonate and cedar withstand full southern exposure sun, and it is easy to adjust the top lid for ventilation.
The thin walls and light weight make it easy to reposition around our raised bed between growing seasons, for crop rotation. We have gale force winds occasionally, and the structure is as sturdy as when we bought it. We ran one of our sprinkler heads under the wall and into the frame for summertime irrigation, which of course means the cedar gets wet and dries out as often as twice a day in summer, with no visible degradation.
We happily recommend your cold frames to everyone!"
~Sue and Art P., Eugene Oregon(and Sandy, the cat)
"I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how pleased I have been with your company and product. It's been a long time since I've been so happy with anything I've ordered. This experience has taken me back to the day when mom-and-pop companies (committed to serving the customer and offering the best quality possible) thrived in America.
The solid and precise construction combined with clearly written and illustrated instructions made it a pleasure to assemble. We even let our five year old grandson help (with close supervision, of course).
Your kind and immediate response regarding the piece that was broken in transit was impressive and leaves me nostalgic for the days when there were more "made in America" companies to choose from.
I am enclosing some photos. The area between the frames is where my two cedar bee hives will soon be placed. I will be adding cedar chips around and between the frames and more soil inside, effectively seating the frames deeper into the ground. When I have some prettier pictures, I will update you. Meanwhile I just had to tell you that I don't know how I got by before without these wonderful cedar cold frames."
May you thrive in the days ahead.
Best, Sylvia T.
"Since buying the cold frame in Feb of 2014 I have grown three excellent crops of lettuce, some of which we are currently enjoying. We also had a fantastic crop of carrots in spring 2014, the best carrots we have had in ten years. We also were able to grow great sweet peppers for the first time.
The assembly instructions were straight forward and easy to follow. Even with snow on the outside we were able to get our first crop of lettuce without heaters. It has also withstood a wind storm. If I could purchase this cold frame in Canada I would love to have two more of them."
"I used my Cedar Cold Frame for the first time in Spring 2014. I grew several different types of Coleus, Salvia, New Guinea Impatiens, Rudbeckias, and herbs from seed over winter. Finally, in early spring I started to move my flats into the Cedar Cold Frame (Attached Pictures). The flats stayed in the Cedar Cold Frame from about March to early May (Zone 5) with no problems. The Cedar Cold Frame sits on the south side of my home, and a few time in late April the temperatures in the cold frame rose to 100F. But luckily, the Cedar Cold Frame venting mechanism is easy to use, so I did not bake any of my plants.
My wife and I are moving to a new house come April 2015 and the Cedar Cold Frame is definitely coming with us. Our new home comes with a half acre lot, which I plan to use as our perennial garden. Since I enjoy growing perennials and annuals from seed the Cedar Cold Frame will be a handy tool. "
"As an avid gardener in upstate New York, I needed considerable space to germinate and to harden off my seedlings. Unfortunately, most portable greenhouses that feature a heavy plastic over light weight metal shelving are not substantial enough to withstand heavy winds and they definitely do not protect against frost. However, my cedar cold frame does the trick. This morning when the temperature was down to 32° the temperature inside the cold frame was 57.5°. The size of this frame allows me to double stack the 1020 trays, so I can fit up to 8 trays at a time. Since I put the cold frame on my second story deck, I attached it to a raised bed that contains a gravel, a heating mat and sand. That way I can germinate on the bottom row while also keeping my seedlings protected until it is time to plant in mid- May."
Thanks for making a great product,
"We wanted to thank you for your cold frame idea/design. We put ours into good use this past season and saved some of last fall's greens as well as starting new seeds over winter. We are now in April and still enjoying all the goodies - cilantro, carrots, kale, radishes, and lettuce!"
Debbie and Alan
"We purchased our Germination Station from Cedar Cold Frame a year ago. When it arrived we were pleased to find it easy to assemble and well made. Having the frame on legs makes it so ideal to work with. The first growing season we were able to start many seeds and harden them off in the frame. We just planted this years seeds and within just a few days there are sprouts. On a trip to Florida this winter we brought home a sago palm start, it wasn't doing so well in the house due to lack of enough sunshine, we put the sago in the greenhouse a couple of months ago and it is doing well!"