Using cold frames is an efficient gardening technique for all year round or to extend the gardening season. They can be modified to work in an array of ecological zones. What people love about cold frames is the simplicity of their design. They are low maintenance and space-saving. A cold frame basically works like a greenhouse to lengthen the growing season. They are basically miniature greenhouses that can be portable, depending on your demands.
What is a cold frame?
Cold frames are being used for several hundreds of years, and presumably longer than that. A cold frame is a simple construction that uses solar energy and insulation. This creates a microclimate in your backyard, which has an increased air and soil temperature because it blocks off the wind. Because of that, you are able to harvest crops ahead of their usual season when they are expensive to buy.
Normally cold frames are built low to the soil and have a clear roof to let in daylight. A hinged top makes the access easy. A sloped design is typical because it allows for better runoff during rain. They also look charming and are an excellent choice for those craving to add something exciting to their garden. Cold frames are a necessary element in the gardener’s toolkit. It is truly the gardener’s best friend!
Reasons to use a cold frame
- Cold frames are also used to “harden off” seedlings that were started indoors
- Gardeners utilize cold frames to prolong their gardening period both in the autumn to preserve plants for a few more weeks and in the springtime to get a jumpstart on sowing roots
- It allows us to preserve cold weather crops so that they can be picked fresh through the coldest months without a warming system
- You can definitely use a cold frame because of your budget or lack of space and also where greenhouses are not an option
- It can be an addition to a spacious garden whether you have a greenhouse or not
- It can be quickly moved to a point suitable for growing a specific plant or crop
- They also help with controlling humidity while simultaneously giving protection from cold, pounding winter rains, and strong winds
- They can easily slide over current garden beds
- Eat healthier organic fruits and vegetables without worrying about harmful chemicals
- You will see far scattered weeds if you close the soil’s surface
- There are several designs to choose from, allowing you to simply discover a design that is just appropriate for your garden
- Cold frames are the excellent choice for people who are new to gardening. It is easy to use and comes with a movable lid that gives easy access to your plants to take care of them and to provide airflow
When is the perfect time to use a cold frame?
Cold frames are a beneficial place to start seedlings. Therefore, you can be ahead of time and use the warmer months perfectly. You can either remove the cold frame when it gets warmer or transplant your seedlings into your garden beds.
Late spring and summer
It gives extra heat for tender summer crops. This promotes quicker ripening and a bigger crop.
Cold frames are useful in preserving cuttings and young plants from cooler, unpredictable weather and the first mild frosts. With these mini greenhouses, you can still grow some veggies in autumn.
It can be used to shield crops from rain and to prevent them from decaying. They can also be used to overwinter plants. Some cold frames actually come with a thicker polycarbonate which allows you to grow cold winter plants even when it's snowing outside.