I made these three cold frames a few years ago from some old windows that I found the upper barn when we moved here. I originally had black plastic on the bottoms of the frames so they could serve as raised beds and I used them that first summer with mixed results. The paint started to flake off which dropped pieces into the plants and they did not do very well for a number of reasons.
I put the frames way in the shed and they stayed there until this spring when I finally dragged them back out with a new idea for them. I removed the plastic from the bottoms and scraped all the loose paint from both sides of the window frames. I re-caulked the windows and moved them to the garden where we had made three new raised bed gardens. the frames would sit on top of the raised beds which we made the same size so they would sit perfectly together.
I will use the cold frames until the plants emerge and then either have the frames open all the time for the rest of the summer or I will remove the frames and just have the plants in the raised beds. I have lettuce in one bed and spinach in another so I will have to put up some sort of netting to keep the hungry woodchucks.
So far, I am happy with the new setup. I did lose a few panes of glass during that last wind storm that came through here - the frames were still standing up against the picnic table at the time - so I am searching thrift shops for 10 X 13 picture frames that I can use the glass from.
This spring has been so strange that I am finding it hard to decide when to plant, what to plant, and if I should be using cold frames and cloches or not. We just tilled today after having to wait for the ground to dry out a little since it has been so rainy the past couple of weeks, so I am hoping that the peas and beans will go in tomorrow.
I also took my seedling trays outside today and they will stay there now until I am ready to plant them. They are currently spending their first night outdoors under a few sheets to guard against temperature change and any curious critters. Hopefully I can get them in the ground sometime around the middle of this week if the weather stays nice.