Cold frame gardening is by no means a new practice. It’s been around for ages, but many people are still at a loss when it comes to understanding the driving concept behind them.
Arm yourself with patience and let’s break down the idea of a cold frame greenhouse together.
What Are Cold Frame Greenhouses?
Simply put, cold frame greenhouses are tiny, enclosed greenhouses. They can be installed within a larger greenhouse or as stand-alone ones. Their frames are usually made of wood.
Cold frame greenhouses come in various shapes and sizes, but always have a transparent roof or transparent windows and doors, so the warmth from sunlight (or the heating system) can be transferred into the enclosure.
This type of greenhouse is used primarily during the winter when sunlight is scant and plants die off as a consequence. In order for you to understand how a cold frame greenhouse works, imagine a box with a transparent roof.
In that box, there are certain plants. Sunlight or heat is passed inside that box through the roof and it’s trapped inside. Therefore, the plants can grow properly even if the weather conditions outside are awful.
How Can I Build One?
In order to build a small cold frame greenhouse, you need a couple of pallets and an old window. Use your tools to create a box out of the pallets but make sure the side panels that go on top of the box are angled.
Once the box is done, screw in the hinges of the window (you’ll have to put it on the side, not upright) and that’s about it. Of course, you’ll have to sand down all the wood, install braces and do some trimming where needed, but that’s basically the process.
It’s easier than it might look at a first glance. There are plenty of tutorials all over the Internet that will provide more insight. In a few paragraphs, we’ll also take a look at some of the most known plans.
Benefits Of Cold Frame Greenhouses
A cold frame greenhouse allows you to grow plants during the cold season (fall and winter) for an extremely low price. These greenhouses are usually made out scraps and, in many cases, the owners don’t spend a buck on other materials.
Subsequently, a cold frame greenhouse is the cheapest way of growing vegetables when the temperatures drop. You can’t grow all types of vegetables, but we’ll get to that shortly.
Cold Frame Greenhouses Plans
In this section, we will talk about the types of cold frame greenhouses you can build whenever you please with a very small amount of materials. Since we’re quite limited here, we will tackle some of them very briefly, so you get a sense of the time you’ll have to spend building them.
What Are The Best Cultures For Cold Frame Greenhouses?
Now you know how to build a greenhouse, so you can move on and find out how to use a cold frame. Due to the fact that this type of greenhouse is used during fall and winter, it goes without saying that the number of plants you can grow in it is quite narrow.
Many of the regular vegetables you grow during summer can’t withstand the cold. Don’t worry, though. There are still a couple of plants that will thrive in a cold frame greenhouse: radishes, lettuce, spinach, mache, arugula, mizuna, carrots, and beets.
You can also plant scallions, kale, parsley, kohlrabi and Swiss Chard. That’s not too bad, considering that many people have to waste some insane amounts of money to get fresh vegetables during the cold season.
The Bottom Line
This article gave you the answer to “What is a cold frame greenhouse?” If you have a lot of spare materials lying around your house, consider putting them to good use. With just a little effort, you might have fresh lettuce and baby carrots on the Christmas table.
Take your time and study a few plans in order to see what you’d like best. We hope that you’ve got the necessary impulse to have greens almost year-round with a minimal investment of both effort and money.