Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cold-frame Vent Works

In the previous two days since I plugged the cold-frame leaks, it has not gotten warm enough in the cold-frame to determine if the automatic vent mentioned in this POST worked. This morning I was watching the remote thermometer, but got distracted. When I remembered it and looked it was 92F! Fearing that the plants inside would start to cook and also a little disappointed that the vent hadn't worked, I ran out to open the cold-frame lid. As soon as I got out. I realized why the vent hadn't worked. Just an hour earlier I'd put a brick on top of the vent window to push the main window tighter against the foam rubber. Somehow I didn't realize that this was not a smart move at the time. I took the brick off and the vent window popped open. When the sun went in and the cold-frame temperature dropped back into the 70s the window closed. Yipee it actually seems to work I'll be checking it over the next few days to insure that it's continues to work before I'll trust it enough to go off to work on a sunny day and lets it do it's job. Below you can see how it's opened just a little crack. The amount that the window opens seem related to the temperature rather than just being all the way opened or closed.
The vent is adjustable. The present setting seems to open it when it reaches the low 80s. I'm not sure if that is too cool, too warm or just right. I'll have to see how the plants do.

What's blooming inside today,
and what's blooming outside today.


  1. I feel like I yak away on your blog nearly every day, let me know if I'm being a pest. I cannot fathom why you don't get more comments - your site certainly has tons of visitors!

    I love that you confessed about the 92F reading and the brick. Sounds exactly like something I would do.

    My reading suggests that seeds like to germinate at 70F and then seedlings usually like cooler temps (65F) to grow. I believe peppers and tomatoes are an exception; they like it warm all the time. Can't wait to see how your seedlings do in the cold frame.

    What kind of automated vent thingy did you use? Was it difficult to install? Does it seem to handle the weight of your window easily?

  2. Leslie,
    I live for comments, ideas, and opinions. Keep them coming!

    I am sure that almost cooking my cold-frame plants on day one will not be the only thing I have to confess before the gardening season is over. Why just yesterday, while transplanting seedlings up to bigger pots, I may have mixed up roman cauliflower and broccoli. I had labels all ready, but which pot to put them on??

    The roof vent I used was a "Thermofor automatic roof vent". I got it from Lee Valley mail order garden supply. Hopefully this link will point you to it.,43224&p=10543
    It was not difficult to install. I think it said it would lift up to 15 lbs. I believe my window weighs a good deal less than that though. Today was mostly cloudy so the vent didn't get a chance to operate. It's only had an opportunity to work yesterday. It seemed fine, but I'd like to see how it does when the weather gets hotter before I pronounce it a total success.

  3. Frame looks good. Does that kind of opener not have some kind of quick-release mechanism? I've been looking at various kinds for a while now and the $50 kind claime to have a QR of some sort...

  4. No that type of vent does not have a quick release feature. The link you posted does have that feature. Thanks if I build another cold-frame, I use the quick release type vent.

  5. Your photos are wonderful. Love the amaryllis. I have one about to bloom! This vent looks like something we'd like to try! Isn't it wonderful to see the crocus flowers? Color!!

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