A Glassless Cold Frame / Mini-greenhouse




Introduction: A Glassless Cold Frame / Mini-greenhouse

About: I like to tinker. I'm a co-founder and active participant of my local hackerspace: Hack42 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. You can also find me on BookCrossing.com under the name Moem.
This describes how I made a cold frame, or a bottomless mini-greenhouse if you will, using an old skylight dome for the top. It's a simple process really, too simple to warrant a full step-by-step.
  1. Acquire skylight dome, recycled of course
  2. Measure the size of the frame that will fit inside
  3. Make frame from plywood: 30 cm high, and almost as wide and long as the dome
  4. Paint the frame so it will be durable. I used two coats of white primer for outdoors
  5. Place frame in your garden on a patch of good clean soil
  6. Sow your herbs.
As an extra, you'll see how I made markers from disposable forks, using a label writer.
Over time, my skylight dome acquired a border of black ductape, which looks neat and hides some cracks; I also added some luggage ties so I can cover the dome with something translucent to shield my herbs from too-bright sun.

What are the advantages of building this cold frame?
  • You can sow your herbs and veggies earlier in the season, capturing the sun's heat to boost them
  • There is no glass involved. It's safe for children and pets
  • It keeps your seedlings safe from birds, snails, hail and Godzilla
  • It's a great way to reuse an old skylight dome
  • It's very easy to build
My kitchen herbs are doing well. I'm getting hungry just writing this and looking at the pics.

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    I have some old mobile home skylights that I can conver into cold frames this winter.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Aha. I recognized the skylight dome. We have one that needs replacing. Now I'm even more motivated to replace it and recycle the old one. Thanks for the idea!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! Please post a pic when you're done.