It’s incredibly straightforward and you can use recycled materials to build a poor man’s greenhouse. All you’ve got to do is nail the ends of four quite wide boards together to make a rectangle or square. This simple framework can then be coated with glass – an old window sash, or old wooden storm windows such as – or some type of plastic that will let light through. It’s better if this bottomless cold frame can sit on a slope that slants slightly to the south. This gives maximum exposure to the sun’s rays and will keep the box warmer.
As we’re all aware, glass will heat anything under it and this is the intention behind the glass in addition to the bad man’s greenhouse. Also, those new plants need sunshine and warmth to grow to maturity correctly.
The cause of building cold frames or hotbeds is to allow yourself time, either in the early spring or late autumn, to grow plants in a location protected from frost. (Most individuals use cold frames more in the spring when they’re starting new plants, but they may be used to extend the growing season into the fall, also.) Now, you can plant seeds in the ground below the box, or you could place starter flats within it. I normally start my plants in the home and then transfer the plants into the hotbed before placing them in the ground to ensure that the crops are”weathered” properly. If you realize that the weather is warm, then lift the cover onto the hotbed and that ensures security against any end, as well as most small animals and guarantees that the plants do get weathered.
A cold frame will maintain its heat quite well, but it requires some additional protection on the very cold nights. If you hear that the temperature will fall far below freezing, cover the box with a canvas or an old blanket just to be on the safe side.
I am told it to find excellent germination of seed in a hotbed, following the glass sashes or cover is set up, to stretch a good sheet of clear plastic over the sash and seal it down with dirt all over the edges. Apparently, the plastic-enclosed hotbed provides the warm, humid conditions that seeds love. However, it’s vital to see the temperature during the middle of a hot day. It may be required to start one end of the plastic to receive excess heat escape.
Bright sun can be something of an issue. Cheesecloth spread across the cold period cover will protect against sunburn.
A hotbed is just like a cold frame, except that it’s some type of artificial heat source. An affordable way to make a heating source is to construct a three-sided box with a cellar window, backing up it from the foundation of the home. If you leave the cellar window partly open so heat can flow into the framework, you can keep your plants from freezing the majority of the winter.
Other, less inexpensive methods include electric heating wires running beneath them, or you could use some sort of heating unit. It doesn’t need to be much heat. Remember that you don’t need to keep the temperature inside this mini-greenhouse anywhere near as large as you’d have the warmth in your dwelling.