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.

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.
— Allan Armitage
 
 
let food be your medicine and medicine be your food
— Hippocrates

The Idea

 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.