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Thread: Cold Frame Ideas

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    A leuco by any other name would still be as gluttonous. CorneliusSchrute's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Dexter, MO
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    Cold Frame Ideas

    I don't grow in a greenhouse per say. Since 90% of my plants are temperate and I live in zone 6b/7, I just use my greenhouse for dormancy; you know, mostly just keeping the windchill off my little darlings. The last couple seasons this has been achieved with a little pop-up greenhouse that has now seen better days. Since things were becoming quite cramped in there anyway, I figure next year--or potentially the remainder of this season--I will use a cold frame "hoop house" of sorts. Enter the brain storm.

    To start, here are my goals:

    -house Sarracenia, Darlingtonia, Dionaea, and temperate Drosera successfully through their dormancy
    -maintain adequate cold temperatures (easy) without overheating through the day (potentially tricky)
    -accommodate a relatively high number of plants while maintaining a footprint no wider than six to seven feet (length can go up to twenty-five feet or so)
    -easily broken down for summer (not of vital importance, but it would be nice)

    A cold frame fits all of these goals, and I have two general concepts planned out. The first would be the typical twenty-foot long PVC pipes about one-inch in diameter bent in concentric arcs and covered with plastic. The second is similar to this, but instead of being a half circle I would use ten-foot long PVC pipe bent into a quarter-circle for one side and two straight pieces of PVC for the other side and bottom. I know that second idea is muddied by my language. How about a picture?

    As you can see, the Second idea would give me similar floor space while allowing for more headroom. Both plans seem to have advantages and dilemma, but there are some specific concerns with either that I have.

    1) If I go with a hoop-house, how do I construct the ends? I want it to be easily accessible on one end and ventilated on the other. Build solid ends out of plywood and dimensional lumber? Plastic-wrapped PVC frame? This is really my biggest area of concern.

    2) What is the best way to anchor this thing down? I have an idea using rebar, and I would like to know what you think.
    Essentially, the rebar will go through a 2x4 into the ground with enough of the bar sticking up to slip the PVC tubes over it. The angle of the bar and the bend of the PVC will keep the pipe on long enough for me to run some screws through the plastic pipe into the wood. Additionally, the wood will let me staple the plastic down as well. This is of course my idea for my "First Idea," the one pictured on the left in the drawing above. I could apply it to my "Second Idea," I guess, but I originally had intended to construct the second idea completely out of PVC pipe and couplings and securing it down with tent augers or the like.

    3) If I go with the Second Idea, I wonder how imperative plastic would be on the flat side if the structure was adjacent and tangental to a permanent structure, i.e. my house. I like the idea of leaving that side "open" to allow some air exchange and prevent over heating.

    4) With either structure, what spacing should I use between PVC structures?

    This was a wordy post, and I apologize, but I hope to make up for it with progress pictures as I commence this build.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by CorneliusSchrute; 01-26-2014 at 08:09 PM.
    Corey Bennett

    My cultivated vegetation, carnivorous and otherwise...

    Formerly cbennett4041

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