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Coldframes

oooftoooft Posts: 191

I just got lucky and bought two wee cold frames for a tenner each in the homebase sale. Conservatory is currently filled with perennials seedlings of a decent size, planted in july or early august I think. Will these be able to survive winter in the coldframe? I also have geranium cuttings growing nicely for next year but presume these are too soft for the cold frame? What do you all use your cold frames for throughout the year? I've never had one before and would like some ideas of what to do with it. Cheers

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  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,120

    I kept all my hardy annual seedlings in mine over the winter. I lined the floor and the sides with some polystyrene panels I got from the diy store. I kept an eye on the overnight temps every day and if a Frost was forecast I placed a layer of fleece over the plants. i also opened the lids a little every day and closed at night.  Everything survived but we don’t get really severe frosts where I am

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,168

    I think I'm right in saying you're in my neck of the woods oooft.

    As said - if it's pelargoniums you have (not hardy geraniums) they'd be better in your house. A porch with plenty of glass would be ideal, or just a window ledge. If your seedlings are all leaving the conservatory, just keep them in there  image

    Your perennials would be fine in a cold frame if hardened off a bit now. It does depend what they are though, and how well grown they are. Hardy perennial seedlings should be fine, but anything more tender might be best left in the conservatory. Make sure you still have a bit of ventilation though - in both places.

    I use mine mainly for protecting things which would be battered by rough weather - wind and rain. I don't grow much that isn't hardy. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • oooftoooft Posts: 191

    Thanks for the replies. Fairy, I am near you. I built the frames last night and put the plants out this morning. I've put   pansy seedlings in which are due to go into the garden in the next week or two. The ones i started early for next year are lupins, hollyhocks, echinops and rudbeckia. I also have some hydrangea cuttings and coreopsis cuttings which i took after the big storm broke some plants. I'm quite pleased with the frames, i think they will be very useful if they don't blow away

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,168

    Just keep an eye on them oooft. I don't know how windy it gets in your garden, but the wind here can lift those little plastic growhouses no problem. I roped mine to my fence to stop it disappearing over the hedge  image

    Air flow is important, so you may need to space things out a bit more. During milder weather in spring when they start growing more, you might need to find some room in the garden so that they don't get overcrowded. Even during the next month, you might feel they're a bit tight for space because they will keep growing. Strong, healthy plants shrug off pests and diseases more easily. 

    It's just one of those things - you have to watch over them a little bit initially, and give them the best chance of thriving. You'll get a feel for it all as you go along though  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • oooftoooft Posts: 191

    Hi Fairy, it's ay blawin a hoolie up here. The frame at the front has ground pegs but nowhere to peg the one at the back. I'll have to find a way to secure them.How did you rope them to your fence? Round the middle? I could screw some eye hooks into the side of the stairs and rope mine that way maybe?  More than half the plants in the frames are due for planting in the next couple weeks so i'll spread things out a bit when there is more space. Might even get some planting done over the weekend if there is a dry spell.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,168

    I had an old washing line, plastic coated wire, and put it right round the top and tied to the fence. The fence has vertical planks and it's double sided, so it wasn't too tricky. I also tied heavy duty wire round the bottom front uprights and fastened them onto screws into the fence. It did the job. 

    I'd just get some decent rope of some kind and put it round the main body of the cold frame or summat. If you can get some vine eyes screwed into the steps, that would probably be fine. I did something similar with another one under my back window, as it had been annihilated by a previous wild spell and was only half the height! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • I have exactly that cold frame and it blew away the first night so I went and found a few old paving bricks to put on the top.. sorted !image

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