With the gardening season coming to an end there will be more time for other projects. A simple project to make is a cold frame. Basically a cold frame is a structure which helps to control the weather conditions to extend your growing season. This allows the gardener to start earlier than the weather allows, end later and is also excellent for hardening off plants.
A cold frame is a bottomless box with a framed transparent lid sloping down at an angle of 45 degrees. You can use glass, plexiglass, an old glass sash window or storm window for your lid. The box can be crafted out of 3/4 inch plywood.
The cold frame collects solar heat, warming the interior of the box when exposed to sunlight. If you paint the interior of the box white or line it with tin foil it will increase the reflective light. Your cold frame is best placed facing south. The inside temperatures can become very hot so it is important to monitor your plants so they are not burned. A thermometer inside the frame is very useful and you can monitor the heat by opening and shutting the lid.
Be sure to water regularly in the early part of the day as moisture evaporates quickly in a cold frame. Watch for pests and disease as once started they can spread quickly in the cold frame environment.
You can buy cold frames with various features such as automatic closing vents if you want to spend a little extra money, but a simple homemade cold frame is an easy project and can be just as effective. To simplify things you can even buy cold frame kits. If you want your cold frame to be portable you might prefer to buy a lighter plastic cold frame. If your handy in the workshop build yourself a cold frame over the winter and have it all ready to go for the beginning of spring.
( some photos are from Pixabay )