Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Cold Frame, Hoop House Style

We enclosed one of our beds at Dave’s Place this week in preparation for winter. We’ll hopefully be able to extend the growing season of our mixed salad greens so we can enjoy fresh salads all year long.

Here’s how you can build your own hinged cold frame hoop house around a raised bed using non-treated 2x4s, hinges & screws, PVC conduit piping, PVC U-brackets, PVC snap clamps (made specifically for greenhouses, we buy ours online here), polyethylene plastic sheeting, staples, a drill, and duct tape.

First, we made a frame out of 2x4s the same size as the bed and placed the new frame on top.

Then we attached two hinges along the back, so the cold frame can open like this:

Then we attached the PVC pipes to the hinged frame. We used 1/2″ PVC conduit pipes and attached them by screwing the 1/2″ U-brackets (like this one) on either side, making sure to attach the brackets to the hinged frame so it will open.

The next step was to cover the cold frame with plastic sheeting. You can find rolls of plastic at hardware stores, online at garden supply websites, or scrounge it up at garage sales like we did. We draped a long rectangular piece of plastic over the length of the cold frame. We pulled taut and stapled the plastic to the hinged wooden frame using furring strips we made by folding over duct tape. The duct tape prevents the staples from ripping the plastic and makes it easy to remove all the staples at once in the spring when we dismantle the hoop house.

We then covered the short ends of the cold frame with separate plastic pieces, stapling the bottom of the sheet to the hinged frame, and connecting it to the top using PVC snap clamps.

Note: we tucked the plastic sheeting on the short ends underneath the sheeting on top to keep the elements out.

And there you go! A hinged hoop house-style cold frame, hopefully able to keep our salad greens growing all winter.

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5 responses to “Cold Frame, Hoop House Style

  1. Pingback: Our Half Hoop House, An Overview | Will Work for Food

  2. Mel April 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Great idea. Hoop house is my next big project!

  3. Pingback: Adventures in the Garden DIY | McKinley Collaborative Garden

  4. Brian Carreno December 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Not sure why I didn’t think of this! I think it’s a very nice and simple design. I can see myself using it in my garden, thanks!

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