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I am interested in makeing some cold frames to extend my growing season. I live in MA, so it gets cold here. Does anyone have designs, tips about using Cold Frames? Have you used one how has it worked for you? What plants grow well in cold frames this far north?

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Hey Rebecca,
I'm in MA, too and am thinking of carving out the sunny spot in the yard for a cold frame once winter gets here (no hurry though - I love the heat!!)

Here is the most impressive reclaimed materials cold frame on the site. Made by The Whatleys:


Here's another design from Lynn:


Also, here's a post from a while back about building your own hoop house and cold frame.

If you use the search (top right corner of the site) you'll come up with a ton of hits for "greenhouse". Fewer for "cold frame", but should work well for inspiration.
Let me know what you plan to do - I'll do the same! :)
Consider using Hay bales as cold frames. Just line the area you wish to grow in with hay bales then cover the top with storm windows. Cover at night with blankets. If you place 6" of steer manuare in the bottom & raise the flats on a grate you can heat somewhat with manuare. Salad greens seem to do well in cold frames.
We have one permanent cold frame up & running for the majority of the Winter. What works best in my climate (Western New York zone 4/5) has been Swiss Chard. But & hears that but, I haven't quite been able to harvest in deep Winter. This year I am trying a frame within a frame.
Early Spring & Fall we are able to harvest salad greens such as romaine, red oak, and butter crunch, along with radishes. Having a good supply of fresh greens has been a huge help to our grocerry budget.
Have you researched hot frames which use fresh manure such as horse ?
I have a few posts on my cold frames both the permanent one made out of scrap wood and upholstery plastic, along with our 3 made out of sheet plastic - http://thirtyfivebyninety.blogspot.com/2010/05/framed.html
Good luck.

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