A heated greenhouse may be every gardener’s dream, but it's not in every budget. In such a case, Niki Jabbour, author of "The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener," says to build mini-hoops over the garden that are covered in plastic. You can also use a cold frame -– a bottomless box made of wood that goes around some of your crops and can then be covered with plastic or glass panels. Of course, if the temperature suddenly rises to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) while you’re at work –- as it did one day in Maine this winter -– you may have to rush home or your crops could be permanently damaged.
$18: Six 10' PVC pipes, one-half inch thick to create mini hoops over two raised beds -- Homedepot.com
$25: Husky 10' x 25' 6 mil polythylene sheeting for the mini hoops -- Homedepot.com
$225: One mini cedar cold frame 2' wide x 8' long -- Gardeners.com
$71: Polycarbonate sheet, 3' wide x 4' long for the cold frame -- Homedepot.com