I built this cold frame many, many years ago as a birthday present. It has essentially gone unused since then, the transparent top gathering dust and mold in the then-yucky crawlspace.
Last year, to kick off my Big Crawlspace Renovation Project, I pulled the top out of there, cleaned it up, dug up the existing dirt, added some compost, and planted various types of lettuce. What did I have to lose other than $1.89 in seeds? It was easy, and provided lots of leafy greens for both humans and rabbits.
The vent on the lid is supposed to have a temperature sensitive hinge, opening the vent when it reaches a certain temp. This actually operated as designed at some point in the past. I don’t think this works anymore, but I’m not too worried about it.
I did this year’s planting just the other day. I just used last year’s seeds, hoping that's not being overly frugal. One row of green lettuce, one row of random mixed salad greens, one row of kohlrabi. I can’t wait to see what, if anything, happens with the kohlrabi. I've never grown kohlrabi before, and it looks like a truly bizarre veggie:
Next step - figuring what to do about those overgrown kiwi vines. Still thinking a pergola is in order. Now, THAT should be a fun project. As opposed to a crawlspace (entry through the three foot high white door in the background), you can actually SEE a pergola.
Here's how the Spring 2009 crop turned out.