I had a cedar box that I've used as a raised bed in the past, so I thought I'd use that as the base and build a removable top for it. That way I can put the box back to use as a raised bed if I ever need it.
Here are some pics of how the top turned out:
I started with using simple plastic sheeting, but when I put it out in the rain one night this week to test it, it filled with water and tore. So I got some clear corrugated PVC roofing material and used that instead. The PVC and foam support together cost about $17. (A plexiglass sheet for the same size would have cost $25.) The cedar I used for the top frame is made of 4" and 6" fencing pickets, with the sides cut on a slope to create run-off, and they cost ~$12 total. So the top wasn't cheap--well more than I would pay for carrots or arugula in the store--but it is sturdy, and should last several seasons, thus amortizing the cost. I hope. Plus, I can't stand flimsy construction. It just offends my sensibilities.
Many instructions for cold frames suggest using an old window, which is fine if you have old windows lying around. I do not, preferring to use my old windows for, well, windows. I find that the house is much warmer that way.
I ran poultry wire along the inside of the box, and plan to fill it with leaf litter for added insulation:
Hopefully, the timing of the pecan trees' leaf drop will correspond to the need for added insulation. I thought about getting some builder's insulation and tacking it on the inside (per some instructions I found on the internet), but since I had a roll of poultry wire lying around, this was
I think it has turned out well. It will be interesting to see how long into the winter season I can grow things. Plus, I hope to use it in the spring to start seedlings for my foray into heirlooms. I do love a good experiment!
And building things. I love building things. I am just a building fool...