This is the second DIY Hoop House Cold Frame we have built in our video series. Easy to build, this mini greenhouse allows you to grow plants in winter. Watch the video here, plans and photos are below as well as links to our other DIY Hoop House Cold Frame Videos.
This cold frame uses a wire mesh that's usually used for concrete, but it works really well as a cold frame form to hold the plastic up. I like how it works
You can buy this concrete reinforcing wire at a local lumber supply yard. It comes in two thicknesses, you want the thinner gauge wire, the thick wire is too much, I think. This wire also comes in rolls, but the it is a pain to work with. The mesh I bought was 10’ x 5’.
To cut the wire mesh we use a right angle grinder with a metal cutting disc. Be sure to wear ear and eye protection and wear gloves while you're handling this material, it can cut your skin.
Be sure the cut end of the wire mesh faces the plywood end, else the plastic can get sliced by the sharp ends of the wire. You can put pieces of old garden hose along the end of the wire mesh where the plastic bends over to form the end wall, as well as on the plywood end to protect the plastic from the hard edges of the wire and wood.
But you can build this! It's not hard and I really like it. Another great version of the hoop house cold frames that we've built, we have a whole series of them - link here - and every time we make one we get better and better. The super cool part is that you can extend your growing season in the fall and you can use one of these cold frames to warm up the soil in your vegetable beds in late winter and plant seeds even earlier than you could normally. Cold frame hoop houses are especially good for salad greens, radishes, sugar snap peas - plants that are cold tolerant.
You can use scrap wood to tie the corners together, or use brackets.
The automatic vent that we use is kind of a specialty item but that they're not that expensive. Here is the link to buy it.
You could put one vent in or you could put in two vents. With two vents you would put plywood at both ends of this cold frame. Having a vent on both sides allows more warm air to exit. Cold frames can get quite hot, you don't realize how much solar energy the sun has even in the winter. You will need to vent the hoop house, you can go out on sunny days and manually vent it if you want by lifting up the cold frames, but I'm not there all the time. So I like the automatic vents.
Have you made a cold frame? Do you have anymore questions? Pease leave them in the comments below.
My cold frame experiences have been greatly influenced by these books by Eliot Coleman and Niki Jabbour.
Four-Season Farm Year Round Vegetable Gardener (affiliate links)
Watch more of our hoop house cold frame plans videos here.
I am wondering where you live? I am in New Hampshire in zone 4b. I would love to grow stuff year round or at least a bit longer into winter. We are currently at 8 degrees and have not seen about freezing in 43 days.
Thank you in advance and I love your dogs!
Eric Gunnar Rochow
Hi Mark, the cold frame hoop house will definitely help. I suggest you look at Shepherd Ogden's Four Season Garden, he's up by you. thx, eric.
F like your hoop house very much, Going to make one thanks for that idea.
@Don, good to hear. i will get these started in a few months, its freezing here now. eric.
I may build a hoop house like yours , a little taller and with wheels on the one end for my chickens. Thanks, I'm sure my chickens will enjoy as a tractor house.
Love your video! I will make one this week maybe a little bit higher. Love your passion for what you're doing and the little labs don't hurt........ too cute
thx Irene, i have to put our our mini greenhouses soon, its warm already. thx!
chicken tractor is a great idea, thanks for the note, eric
This is terrific! Thank you for this video. I am excited to start my spring garden seeds once I build my hoop house copying your basic design.
Great video! I was wondering about the plastic. Our Home Depot Store has 6 mil and 4 mil clear plastic roles, that are very inexpensive. Do you need special green house plastic or will this do?
I use regular plastic, but keep in mind it will last a few seasons and then rip. The inexpensive plastic is not UV resistant, and breaks down. thx!