Cold Frames for Plants

One of the most useful, and inexpensive additions to any garden is a Cold Frame. Used for a range of purposes cold Frames are basically a small greenhouse used for starting seeds and protecting plants and young seedlings from frost and cold of late winter and early spring. Cold frames help plants and seedlings get a head start before being transplanted into the garden or allotment.

Basically an enclosed box with and angled glass or poly carbonate lid that is placed to face the sun. The lid is designed to open for easy access and also to allow the frame to be propped open for ventilation on hot days. Some cold frames are insulated on the sides and bottom with polystyrene sheeting to add extra warmth. Often second hand windows are used as lids, sliding windows are also suitable and are less likely to be damaged on windy days.

Cold frame types

Cold Frames for sale in the UK include ready made, DIY, pre fabricated and plans for cold frames for the home garden or allotment. Timber, aluminium, poly carbonate sheeting, glass and cedar cold frames.

Cold frames are readily available for sale from online suppliers and come in a range of materials including poly carbonate sheeting, aluminium and cedar.

Poly carbonate sheeting is a popular material for building cold frames as is it is more resilient than glass, a little safer as well. Prices for ready made cold frames range from 30 upwards depending on size and materials.

Cold frames vary greatly in size depending on space available and usage requirements, however design and plans are similar, simply scaled up for larger DIY constructions.

Heating Cold Frames

Cold frame heaters suitable for larger units are readily available, many of these are paraffin heaters. But consider this instead, cover yours with a layer of stable manure, the heat will rise very quickly, if you can't get stable manure, try a fleece or even bubble wrap to 'pump up' the heat in your cold frame.

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John Allman 

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