ISSUE 94  |  October Moon

10 Easy Pieces: Cold Frames

October 17, 2013 7:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

As cold sets in, offer your tender plants and early seedlings protection from life-threatening wind, temperatures, frost, and snow with a cold frame designed to be placed directly on the ground or on top of existing garden beds.

(N.B.: Cold frames are not difficult to make. See our earlier post Cold Frames in the Garden for DIY ideas.)

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Above: This Cedar Cold Frame is made of untreated Western Red Cedar, naturally resistant to rot and insects. It has a plexiglass lid that is slanted to allow for runoff of water and prevent accumulation of snow and leaves. It measures 20-by-30-by-15 inches; $199.95 at Williams Sonoma.

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Above: Farmer D’s Cedar Cold Frame measures 3-by-3 feet and is designed to sit on top of a raised garden bed or can be placed directly on the ground; $199.95 at Williams Sonoma.

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Above: Balcony or patio gardeners in cold climates can create a standing cold frame by pairing Farmer D’s Cedar Bed on Legs with the Farmer D 2-by-4-foot Cedar Cold Frame; $299.95 and $199.95, respectively, at Williams Sonoma.


Above: The Forest Premier Cold Frame features two independently opening lids, each with a large and small timber prop to enable you to vary the level of exposure for the plants inside. It is 46.5 inches wide and 31 inches deep and comes with a 15-year warranty; £65.90 at Green and Easy.

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Above: Halls Single Poly Cold Frame has a corrosion-resistant, light weight aluminum frame and a plant-friendly polypropylene cover. It measures 39-by-24 inches and is $69.49 at


Above: The Steel Frame Hotbed Tunnel offers cold weather protection with a steel tubing and UV-stabilized PE foil construction that is stable but very lightweight, offering great mobility. The cover opens either manually (it can be locked in any position), or automatically with the help of an activation device. The tunnel is placed over the desired garden bed and fixed with galvanized steel ground anchors; €168 at Manufactum. 


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Above: Made in Austria, the Juwel BioStar 1500 Premium Cold Frame features three roof windows, including one with an automatic opener. The panels are made of durable twin-wall polycarbonate, providing a high level of insulation and the strength to supportsix -feet of snow. It has a “no-drip” coating to prevent excess condensation from forming on plants. It measures 59-by-32 inches and includes four corner stakes; $359.99 at Green House Nation.

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Above: The Juwel BioStar 1500 Cold Frame can be reconfigured, taking off the top windows, to make it usable all year long. Image via the Urban Artichoke.

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Above: Perfect for existing raised garden beds, the large Solexx Deluxe Cold Frame measures 8-by-6 feet. It can be mounted to your existing raised bed, or with the optional Solexx Tie-down Kit ($29.95), can be anchored directly into the soil. This can also be used to as coverage to over-winter your potted plants; $452 at Greenhouse Nation.

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Above: The simple Advantek Cold Frame is made with weatherproof fir lumber and features a lock-open and close lid. It measures 39-by-23-by-15 inches; $83.98 at Wayfair.

N.B. This is an update of a post that originally ran on December 11, 2012.

See our earlier post Raised Garden Bed Round-Up for more ideas.