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Thread: Coldframe latest endeavor

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    MULTIPLE USES FOR COLDFRAME

    Hi Malcolm
    there are multiple uses for coldframes. the most important to me is winter protection and storage of my shrubs.
    i lost many last winter from being to wet and the potting media freezing.i wont cover this coldframe untill about nov or december.
    i feel my temps moderate enuf that i shouldnt have to cover any sooner.I will have the white plastic on hand just in case it needs to go on any sooner.
    come spring time when temps are moderate again i will trash the white plastic, first by opening the doors and letting the air flow thru and when the temps warm up even more by slashing X's in between each bow to to let more built up heat out. the object is to keep the shrubs dormant as long as i can. new tender growth could be setback by a late frost which sometimes is clear into May here.
    i can also use this coldframe in the summer with shade cloth over it , wish i would have had some over it this summer. it was a scorcher here all summer.
    as far as the greenhouse you see in the back ground i dont heat it as of yet. it has been used to finsish off plants i start in my smaller heated greenhouse ,hanging baskets and such as that.
    in another year or so this house will be a coldframe also, for taller
    trees etc.
    i recently have finished the excavating to put in a 20x96 ft greenhouse and the venting will be moved to it from the one you see in the background.
    you asked how i use in conjuction , well thats really not the case or the purpose. that greenhouse was used to allow me to get some cash flow going to run the nursery.
    when the 3 year greenhouse plastic goes bad it will become a coldframe. i store my potting soil mixer inside along with other nursery equip ment. hope this helps answer some of my methods to my madness

  2. coldframe

    Shepp,

    Thanks for the info. I am in Mid-MO, Zone 5b, and our soil is mostly clay. All my plants are in pots and I can't really dig holes in the ground for geothermal protection - they just fill up with water when it rains.

    I built a small pvc hoophouse and covered it with white plastic. I've used it for propagation & mist & to keep the critters out of my seedlings. It's been too hot to be really useful, and I will use shadecloth and netting next year instead of plastic.

    Thanks for all the pics and info.

    -Malcolm

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Chester, Texas - very small country town
    Posts
    30

    Question cold frame / green house

    Hi Everyone -
    Noticed the discussion about the cold frame and green house - would love to have something like that but - I have a problem - maybe you all could give me some advice - you see its just myself and my Mom - I am 55 and Mom is 83 and she cant really do much anymore - and I have a problem with my bones- not being able to life heavy objects - so what kind of ideas could we use in fixing a cold frame or even a green house - there are no men in our lives to do any of this kind of work and we sure don't have the money to hire any builders -
    Heres hoping someone can give me an idea of what I can do to help save my plants -


  4. coldframe ideas

    I'm 53, so not too far behind you. I would suggest using 1/2" PVC. It is very light weight, easy to cut, readily available and low in cost. You can find examples of a PVC coldframe at this web site.

    http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/juliana.shtml

    You can also search the internet. I've found lots of information, pictures, etc.

    They're very easy to make from scratch. Cutting the pipe is very easy. And you don't need to glue it. Just tap it together with a rubber mallet so you get a snug fit.

    You can use a clear plastic sheet and hold it on with 2" metal binder clips from an office supply store. If you spend just a little more money you can get PVC pipe that is treated for UV rays. That will make it last a little longer. But it is so cheap that cost is barely a consideration.

    IF you don't want to use plastic, you can use greenhouse fiberglass or plexiglass. Your local Lowe's, Home Depot or similar type store will have it and can cut it to fit your needs.

    Here's a picture of a little hoophouse I built with 1/2" PVC, a handfull of fittings, and one 10' x 20' roll of plastic. It cost me under $40.

    http://www.middlecity.com/hoophouse.jpg

    It provides a nice enclosure. It is now jammed full of plants and is closed off on both ends, because my night temps are getting down in the 40s. I have my seedlings and mist in there. I will overwinter some shrubs and trees in there, and put in a sandbed for hardwood cuttings. Next summer I will use it as a shadehouse for misting cuttings.

    PVC is light weight, cheap and easy to work with, and you should be able to do anything you need. If you stick it up against the house on the south side you will get some good solar heating during the winter.

    You don't need a huge elaborate structure. My mom used to make coldframes out of old storm windows, and some scrap wood. They were only about 18"-24" tall. Build it to suit your needs and what you are able to handle.

    -Malcolm

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    Easy plastic covered tunnels

    Hi goldeneagle--I have never built a for real greenhouse or anything close, just low plastic covered tunnels according to the recipe on this site http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/nurs-index.html

    These have worked great for protecting plants over the winter as well as propagating. I'm no builder but these can be nailed together easy enough for even me to get it done in a couple hours. Maybe this would work for you too--Glen in BC

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Chester, Texas - very small country town
    Posts
    30

    Thumbs up GREAT IDEAS -

    THANKS - Malcolm and Glen -

    Thank you both for the ideas - and the PVC I think I could handle that - and placing it on the South side of the house - now that is a good idea - never thought about putting it up by the house - but it would be ideal - we have an old back room that is connected to the back of the house and it has a cornered off section just right for a small framed in area - the North and East sides would be protected by the house (on the east side)

    Thank You so much - !!!!!!
    goldeneagle = Beth S.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Free Atlas Catalog

    Hi, Everyone!

    I went to the Atlas Greenhouse link that Shepp gave us, and as I ventured around their web site, I noticed that they offer a free catalog. I sent off for it and received it last Monday. It is very informative 50 page catalog. I recommend that anyone interested in building and/or purchasing a greenhouse request this catalog. Even if you do not plan to build a greenhouse/coldframe as substantial as Shepp's, there is a lot to be learned from the catalog.

    They include a section on Hard-to-Find Equipment & Supplies and they have a lot more than what you see on their web site.

    Here's the link to request the catalog:

    Free Atlas Greenhouse 2002 Grower's Catalog

    Enjoy!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South of Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    3

    Re: MULTIPLE USES FOR COLDFRAME

    Shepp, in an earlier post you mentioned a potting soil mixer. My husband built me a 3-sided frame with a slanted bottom that I can shovel everything into & mix it up with the little tiller. This works but it is not ideal. I was thinking of getting a cement mixer. I'd love to know what you (and everyone else) are using. Just seems like I'm doing it the hard way.

    darlajean

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    Concrete mixer

    hi Darla
    i dont know about everyone else .
    but i use a cement mixer.
    does real well for me .
    saves alot of work . and i sit the wheelbarrow sideways and let it fill it while its still turning after mixing thoroughly.
    hope that helps .saves my back .
    shepp zone5/6

  10. cement mixer

    Lowe's has a light weight mixer, with a molded plastic-type hopper (very durable material), for around $100. No rust, light weight, easy to clean, inexpensive. I think it will be ideal for mixing.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Chester, Texas - very small country town
    Posts
    30

    Talking Potting Soil Mixture

    First to: Darlajean - just to let you know I mix everything the old fashion way - by hand/shovel/and rake -

    Secondly to MWhite- Really appreciate the info about the mixer - now whenever I make $100 - then I know where to go to get one -- that would be a lot easier and then maybe I won't strain anymore muscles in my back and arms - it really is hard when you can only lift 20 pounds or less - it takes forever to toss and turn all that mixture --

    Thirdly to Ann-- Thanks about the site to get the catalog about frames/houses -- I just ordered myself one of those catalogs -
    goldeneagle = Beth S.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South of Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    3
    Shepp & MWhite

    Thanks! Now I know what my husband is going to buy me for Christmas.


    Goldeneagle - years ago when I was a spoiled little girl, I used to say that my hands didn't fit on a shovel. Now I have not only an assortment of shovels & rakes but two pairs of heavy duty leather gloves. When I'm all sweaty & dirty I can't believe how "dainty" I used to think I was!


    darlajean

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Chester, Texas - very small country town
    Posts
    30

    Thumbs up working gloves

    Darla -

    What you said about dainty - - I know what you mean - for 23 yrs I swore I would neverdo that kind of menial chore - I worked in an office all those years - and then retired - now I work harder than I ever did back in the office - but I must confess - I love working in the garden and setting out new plants - and whether I make any money or not- from my new business-- at least I will enjoy what I raise now - my next big quest is raising galdiolus - everyone here in zone 8 Texas - they say its to hard to raise them - and they tell me all kinds of negative remarks - but Mom had a few growing for over 8 years and now of course they are lacking some of the beauty they once had - but they were never properly cared for and I am getting all the information I can to do the job right - I just love gladiolas blooming and having them in the house - anyway - TAKE CARE - and oh yes - those working gloves - yep got them too -several pair !! ha ha
    goldeneagle = Beth S.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Well, I can honestly say that I have never been accused of being 'dainty'. LAS! Perhaps that is because I have always been somewhat on the tall side, but my oldest sister will tell you in an instant that I am the 'frail' one due to my thin bone structure, I suppose, as compared to hers, anyway....

    Malcolm, thanks for letting us know about the small mixer at Lowes. I can assure you that I will be checking into that!

    Beth, I am going to create a new thread on the main forum about Gladiolus which are one of my favorite to grow for long lasting cut flowers.

    Thanks, Shepp for telling us about the wonderful idea of using a small cement mixer for preparing soil! It truly sounds like a real back saver to me...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Chester, Texas - very small country town
    Posts
    30

    Thumbs up a new thread

    Ann -

    Oh WOW - I will really be looking forward to that new thread about GLADIOLUS -

    THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH !!!!!
    goldeneagle = Beth S.

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