The Cold Frame Groweth

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The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:56 pm

A while back I posted a photo of the cold frame I used last year. It was given to me by a bonsai club member.



The top and front of the middle section are made of standard 36 inch by 80 inch storm doors. The overall dimensions are 12 long, 4 foot deep and at the highest point approximately 5 foot tall for a total volume of almost 9 cubic yards.

This weekend, as I reassembled the cold frame a few changes were made. Using the original 12 x 4 base. I framed it so that the tallest point (the back wall) is 8 feet, the front is 7 feet. (New volume: approximately 13 cubic yards) The two storm doors have been framed together standing up to form the middle section. THe top is yet unfinished. Lining inside and out with plastic will be the next step and finally mounting the doors will complete the project. Instead of leaving it on our old garage pad, it is being assembled under the present garage roof to assist in protecting it from the wind, sun and potential snow accumulation. In addition, it is closer to outlets for using the thermostatically controlled heater.

Photos of the process will be added as the project progresses.

Jay

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:24 pm

Here are photos of the finished frame, the back patio is a war zone caused by construction of the frame.






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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:18 pm

The cold frame got a jump start with this past weekend's cold snap. I spent all day Monday finishing up the frame and applying the plastic. The first layer of plastic was applied to the inside of the frame and wrapped across the top to help seal in heat. A layer of insulated foam board was applied to the top.



I also added a layer of plastic to the patio wall to help keep the North wind off the cold frame.



A second skin of plastic was added to the outside of the frame. This is all one piece (like the inside) except it was hung over the frame while fastening to avoid any seams on top to prevent cold infiltration and/or heat loss. In addition, the floor section is lined with wire mesh to keep the critters out (although they could chew through the plastic) and covered with insulated foam board to prevent the cold concrete from wicking heat from the pots.



The opening to the front will be filled with the two glass storm doors shown on the original photos, although they will now both be vertical. I'm looking at installing a temperature-controlled system that will pull warm air from the top and recirculate it to the bottom.

The back now has three layers of plastic, two on the frame and one on the wall. The cold frame has since been pushed back against the patio wall.



The next step will be to build a series of racks out of pallets to make two or three tiers of shelves and one or two top shelves along the upper back wall. The doors will left open to allow air circulation until such time as temps drop to 20*F or below.

Stage three to follow...

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  fiona on Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:54 pm

Jay, I'd be careful in December. You're gonna come out one day to find a white-bearded fat man in a red suit lodging in there, especially as you seem already to have the grotto lights. santa Watch he doesn't give away all your trees to the neighbourhood brats.

Like the frame, but I'm so glad we don't get the temperatures extremes that necessitate such a structure. Hope it does its job well over the winter.


btw My friend is jealous as your "hut" as she just called it is bigger than her flat (apartment)

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:08 pm

Funny you should reference that certain Jolly Old Elf. For about 15 years I was him (still got the suit) parades, libraries, Christmas parties, I did it all. More than amply paid for the $500 I put out for the suit. I even hand tooled a leather belt to replace the cheezy one that came with the suit. (My wife and a friend are trying to bring it out of storage and put him back to work!)

Jay

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:59 pm

The cold frame continues...

I was planning on putting my 8 foot tree table inside the cold frame. However, when I got to work this morning there was a pile of narrrow pallets on our dock. The top boards are closer together, they are assembled better and they are available. I figure a 2 or 3 layered pallet shelf with 1 or 2 shelves up the back of the wall would be perfect and it can be taken down like the cold frame and stored during the nicer weather. All I need now is 6 2x4s to provide legs.

The process never ends, but it does get better! Very Happy

Jay

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  fiona on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:02 pm

Jay Gaydosh wrote:Funny you should reference that certain Jolly Old Elf. For about 15 years I was him

Well, bells on bobtails ring!

I'm laughing all the way, ha ha ha

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:13 pm

Resurrection of the cold frame thread.

Got the shelves built and into the frame. This weekend I beat the subfreezing temps and got the doors into place. All the trees are in. The last warm spell gave me a chance to give everyone a good drink. Based on the structure, I may have to open one door periodically to vent it and water lightly, but I'm not sure if I will need to add the heater. I placed the more cold hardy trees to the bottom and lesser hardy trees to the top. There remains room along the back of the framework to add a small shelf up higher.

Photos to follow...

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:16 pm

Added note:

I was considering sliding the frame into the garage. It would be dark with the exception of periods I was inside working and the temps stay between 30 and 40 most of the winter (even on the warmer days it takes time to get the temps inside up to above 50.)

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Dustin Mann on Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:10 am

Hi Jay: I like it, especially center portion with door sideways. Now you could have great Christmas(Nativity) setting in center with bonsai,straw,the whole bit with candlelight. Dustin

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  bisjoe on Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:13 pm

If it gets really cold put blankets over it. I have a similar setup but used clear corrugated polycarbonate for the sides, front and top. When it got down to 17F I turned on the heat to keep it at 34, but then it got down to 13 yesterday, even with heat I couldn't keep it arm enough until I threw on blankets. This morning it's 13 again and stayed 38 inside.

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:10 pm

The 2x4 frame is lined inside and out with plastic so that there is a 3.5 inch space between the layers. Both layers were hung with the edges at the bottom so there are no seems in the frame to loose heat. The only concern I have is around the doors, so I ran a 1" strip of weather stripping around the edges of the doors. The door on the left is held on with strips of wood screwed to the frame. To the right is on hinges.

Here are the last photos of the frame; hopefully, for the season... but we will see. I do apologize for the dirty windows, I got them up just before the first cold snap and cleaning hasn't been on the adgenda since. In addition, the camera picked up reflections from the background, but you should be able to identify tree from relection. To date, most of my potted trees are tropicals, hence they ain't in here. We do have several prospects for repotting some of them into bonsai pots next spring.









Jay

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:14 pm

Fiona,

If you will notice, I left some room for you on the bottom left shelf. We can locate a spare pillow and a set of linens! Very Happy

Jay

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:47 am

Jay,
Good job with the cold frame.

Two words...fungicide...dormant spray. Does not look like much air circulation.

You may try to use something a month or so prior to the trees waking up...... 40:1 lime sulfur for instance.

Neil

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:51 pm

NeilDellinger wrote:Jay,
Good job with the cold frame.

Two words...fungicide...dormant spray. Does not look like much air circulation.

You may try to use something a month or so prior to the trees waking up...... 40:1 lime sulfur for instance.

Neil

Thanks for the advice. I will put it in my notes. Just for informational purposes, the frame is not totally sealed, The bottom is wire mesh with panels of insulation on top to keep the critters out, but there are some spaces for air to exchange. During periods where the temps will be above freezing I will open the doors to allow some air movement and periodic watering.

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:37 pm

YEEEES! We have arrived!

The forecast for the next two weeks is highs of between 47 and 65 and the lows shouldn't reach 30.
It appears that the modified cold frame did well enough that I never had to add the heater.

This weekend the coldframe was open all day and yesterday I brought out most of the evergreens and left the coldframe open. We are still close enough to put them back in if the forecast changes, but I hope they are out to stay! thumbs up

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The Cold Frame Groweth - BIGGER!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:43 pm

OK! Already did this once, apparently it didn't take!

Last year's coldframe was nice, but I received an opportunity to get BIGGER! My mother-in-laws house is up for sale at auction and the auctioneer said to get rid of her metal carport. So I got it. The following pictures show the location of the new building with the addition of a South and North wall and West and East walls to follow. This building will house my waste vegetable oil processing equipment and serve as the new cold frame for my trees. The building is 12 ft by 20 ft with the North wall 18 inches off the concrete with a 18 inch wide ditch the length of the building for drainage full of 1 to 2 inch river rock.









The wood was all on sale... CHEAP! We will have to add syrofoam insulation and plastic to the inside walls and ceiling and chinking in the wall spaces (like in log cabins on the outside.) I plan on adding vetilation in the peaks of the front and back walls, specifically it the weather warms up too much or if the Vegetable oil puts off too much heat during processing. The storm doors will be hung horizontally from the top so they can be pushed out from the bottom for ventilation. It should all be finished about 3 weeks after all my trees freeze. Shocked

Jay


Last edited by Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Cold Frame Groweth

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:49 pm

The entire building qualifies as "temporary". The shed itself is pinned to the ground through the concrete. The wood walls are held in place by cletes. If the cletes were removed the walls would be allowed to fall way from the building. The West wall, towards the garage, will be contain an access door, the East wall will hold two 4 ft by 8ft swinging doors to allow for greater access to the building contents.

Once finished, I will move on to fencing in the back yard for bonsai display and little dog access.

Jay

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