Oslo Garden

A blog about gardening in Oslo, Norway

Winter salads go into the cold frame


My custom-made winter cold frame is now finally finished.

It is now primed and painted inside and out to give it the best chance of survival in snow, rain and minus temperatures.

I had intended to paint it all blue but on a rather gloomy and cloudy day I realised that painting the inside a dark colour perhaps wasn’t the best idea. A better choice would be white which might help reflect what little light there is outside on those grey days. I’m glad I did.

It soon became obvious that I’d have to replace the hinges too. In its new horizontal position the window’s original hinge mechanism was putting stress on the frame each time the window was raised and lowered. So I fitted butt hinges instead. It took time to source the right screws for the job but eventually I got there and so far so good.

Then I discovered that an aluminium trim on one side of the window frame was stopping the window from closing flush against the cold frame box.  Had I known I was going to remove the window’s hinges I could have flipped the window over. But instead  I set to carefully prizing it off using a strong set of pliers. Luckily it came away cleanly from the window frame without damaging it but it did leave glass on that side exposed. So as a precaution I glued some cut offs between the glass and frame to support the glass a little on that side.

My last challenge was finding planters. I had mistakenly assumed the shops would still have them but to my dismay I discovered that the garden centres were being emptied of their summer stock and the planters that I had intended to use had now been replaced by seasonal paraphernalia – christmas baubles, bird feeders and wreaths..!  As I watched my seedlings languishing on my window sill I desperately considered using everything from homemade grow bags made out of plastic bags to washing up bowls. Eventually I finally found some plastic containers from a well-known Swedish home store that were a perfect fit. A few holes drilled at the bottom and hey presto ready for planting!

When it came to transplanting the seedlings some had grown rather leggy and were a bit tricky to plant out. Too much time spent on a warm window sill. Not ideal. Still, I’m hoping they will recover sufficiently and grow into healthy robust plants. It’s just a relief to finally get them in. Now let’s see what happens.


Author: hagenics

Environmentalist and gardener currently living in Oslo, Norway.

8 thoughts on “Winter salads go into the cold frame

  1. So sweet and handy. I am so inspired by your project! Love it! Thinking of how I can try to do the same.

    • Go for it! There are also some helpful video tutorials online. The decking planks were easy to source and good value but maybe if I were to do it again I’d try looking for larger pieces of wood which I could saw into shaped panels. This would probably reduce the amount of sawing/hammering/screwing-in needed and create less margin for error! Finding the right screws also caused a bit of consternation so my advice is look around for those kinds of accessories before starting out! But it’s very satisfying to do it..Hopefully mine will stand the test of time. Thank you very much for your kind words Eva.

  2. I’m lucky enough to have a greenhouse but I think a cold-frame dos a different job and I should try to make one of those for hardening off some plants before they go outside. It might stop some plants from getting too big too quickly too.

  3. What a great job to have made the cold frame yourself! And so nice to see what you are growing in there, as I am totally new to cold frames myself and have also got a few salad plants in them, hoping for the best, we’ll see during the winter 🙂

  4. That is a beautiful cold frame. We have the room for it if some large pots were moved. You have me thinking. Nice blog…I’ll be back. Patsi

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