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Article: Building a Cold Frame to Jump Start your Spring Garden: help on materials

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Forum: Article: Building a Cold Frame to Jump Start your Spring GardenReplies: 4, Views: 26
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dirtball140
Warner, NH
(Zone 4b)

April 13, 2009
4:39 PM

Post #6403957

Angela _ I loved your cold frame plans, but have exhausted every lowes, home depot, lumber yard in central NH, but can't find the flexible, plastic lattice molding strips. I've thought about plastic pipe and wooden dowels, but they don't seem as easy as your design. Any idea as to a manufacturers name or chain that might carry this? thx, the ideas are great.

Bookerc1

Bookerc1
Mackinaw, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 13, 2009
11:26 PM

Post #6405727

Odd you should ask this today, as I just spent a chunk of my afternoon searching for the same thing here! I managed to break one of my strips (well, my 10 year old managed to! LOL), and found it is not as easy to locate in IL as it was for my mother, in Iowa. I finally found something similar at a Mendards, which is where Mom said she bought the original plastic strips, but it doesn't feel as sturdy. They said it is made of a type of foam, and is called Crystal White lattice. I'd assumed it would be pretty readily available, since she'd found it at several locations in Des Moines!

Another friend said she has done something similar on a larger scale, using flexible PVC pipe that fits down over steel rods that are driven into the wooden frame, but I'm not sure it would be able to bend sharply enough to span a smaller frame of this size. Another reader is contemplating some old hula hoops in her garage, too.

I've been wracking my brain, trying to come up with another alternative!

Angie
RenaV
Logan, UT

April 21, 2009
6:30 PM

Post #6443134

I found the same problem here in Cache Valley, UT, then I found some discarded blinds from my den. I took them apart for the slats. With only minor adjustments to the design ( the blind slats are 1 1/2 to 2" wide) they work just fine. My blinds happened to be 6' wide so we trimmed them to 4'.
Even buying the blinds new and disassembling them is pretty cheap.

Bookerc1

Bookerc1
Mackinaw, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 21, 2009
9:20 PM

Post #6443848

Now that hadn't occurred to me. What a great idea! They would be flexible enough to bend, but not as likely to snap.

Still looking for the perfect, and widely available, material for the arches.

I'd love to see pictures of the cold frames you build! I know everyone will probably bring their own tweaks to the design, based on what materials you have available and how you plan to use it. It would be great to have a variety of designs all represented here, for people who come looking for information in the future!

Bookerc1

Bookerc1
Mackinaw, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 8, 2009
5:29 PM

Post #6659207

Just an update on the materials. I have had on-going problems with the white lattice strips breaking, both at the top of the arch, and down in the little slots in the frame. I decided to try using hula hoops instead, as another reader suggested, and it has been wonderful. I bought three hula hoops, cut them in half with pruning shears, and stuck bamboo stakes into the ground just outside the frame, with about 5 inches of stake extending above ground level. I slide the hollow tubing over the stake, and it is ready for the cover! The hoops even fit through the casings designed for the lattice strips on the end pieces.

It wouldn't be difficult to drill holes in the frame the diameter of the hula hoops, or alternately to insert dowels in holes to support the hoops, which would allow for a little more height. Coincidentally, they were almost the perfect size to fit the cover I already had, and were cheaper than the brittle lattice strips to boot. And they had pretty, shiny holograms. Just be careful when cutting them in half, as the ones I purchased had water inside.

Just thought I'd post that update, for anyone who might be considering this project in the future!

Angie

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Other Article: Building a Cold Frame to Jump Start your Spring Garden Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Clever, timely & valuable info davis1676 4 Mar 31, 2009 1:59 AM
Thanks... Sundownr 2 Mar 30, 2009 10:31 PM
Just what I've been looking for RenaV 1 Mar 30, 2009 10:39 PM
Very temporary cold frames Skyflower1 2 Mar 30, 2009 10:30 PM
cold frames sharonmi 1 Mar 30, 2009 10:28 PM


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