Grow in the Cold With a Cedar Cold Frame

Customer's idea inspires new product for season-extending

Customer cold frameTop left: The design from Massachusetts gardener Rose Deskavich. Her creation, built on our 2x8 Elevated Cedar Raised Bed, inspired the Cedar Cold Frame, at right. Lower left: The Cedar Cold Frame used on the ground.
Pete Gay, building the new cold framePete Gay at work on the new Cedar Cold Frame at our manufacturing facility in Vermont.

Our product team is always looking for garden innovations. Sometimes, our customers come up with an idea and our designers take it to the next level. In 2012, customer Rose Deskavich showed us how she modified her Elevated Cedar Raised Bed, adding a custom cold frame so she could grow greens, parsley and chives through the winter.

"When I saw her Facebook posting, I was impressed and went to work to see how we could make one for our customers," says Cindy Goodenow, one of our buyers. She worked with Pete Gay, who runs our Vermont manufacturing facility, to come up with the design. "We made the front a bit taller to accommodate higher plants and added a few other features, such as side hinges, so you can open the top at different intervals. We added a pivoting center arm for extra support in windy conditions."

Our customer-inspired Cedar Cold Frame is sized to fit our 2' x 8' Elevated Cedar Raised Bed, with the same rot-resistant cedar and aluminum corners. The top is made with polycarbonate panels that diffuse light so plants don't "cook." Polycarbonate is also weather-resistant, sheds snow and water, and provides an insulating "trapped air" layer over the plants.

Like Rose, we chose the 2x8 size because its narrow footprint fits nicely beside a house or structure, where it is more protected. You can also use the Cedar Cold Frame on the ground -- like a traditional cold frame.

Rose modified her elevated bed so she can grow all year around in Greenfield, MA, Rose didn't use the false floor and filled the bottom two-thirds of the bed with bark mulch. "The type of lettuce I grow in the winter is mache, which is a popular in Europe and grows well in cold weather," Rose says. "This winter I am also keeping the parsley, chives and scallions going in there." Her cold frame also protects crops from squirrels: "During warm weather, I do not take the top off because I have a problem with squirrels digging in it. I open the cover but keep a heavy-duty mesh cover over the top."

Last updated: 01/04/2023