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Cold frames

This may be a daft question but can you use those plastic multi-storied greenhouses as cold frames? I was looking for cold frames on the internet and they seem to be selling them as both greenhouses and cold frames.


  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,743

    Wouldn't there be a danger of them becoming too hot? Mine got up to about 25c the other day with the sun on it.

  • Denno666Denno666 Posts: 109

    That's what I thought - last year I actually put plants in mine instead of using it just for storage and they all wilted, even with the flap open.

  • nanessananessa Posts: 5

    I made a coldframe last year with a frame of wood and panels of plastic sheeting. On warmish days I left the front wide open and kept it closed at night and on cold days. This year I have exchanged the polythene sheeting with corrugated PVC and hope it will do as well without scorching anything. I only used it for hardening off plants though this year I have just put shallot seeds in to germinate. I should say the back is against a wall and I have left that open as well as a few gaps so the breeze can get in. Our garden is quite exposed so my aim was to protect young plants from the wind and accentuate the sunshine. Last year was my first foray into vegetable gardening so I am very much a novice. 

  • Denno666Denno666 Posts: 109

    Well I bit the bullet last night and ordered a cold frame - wish I'd got one earlier though, think the conservatory is getting a bit warm for my sweet peas!

  • LucyLLucyL Posts: 163

    I have Just bough myself a cold frame, was only £20. First time using one so i guess it will be trial and error, is it a good idea to have a thermometer in them so you know how warm they are? Mine is made of metal frame n' glass inserts


     Will be testing with my Lobelia seedlings that hopefully in a couple weeks will be ready to seperate and pot up. n' will move into the cold frame.... they will be watched like a hawk lol!

  • WinniecatWinniecat Posts: 100

    Hi Denno

    I have just got a cold frame and it's brilliant. It has free'd up the greenhouse for more newbies and is a great way to harden off plants. I open it up most days as it can get quite warm. Mine is in full sun which may not be wise in a month or two but works well at the moment.

    Last year I used one of those plastic greenhouses to harden off and it worked fine.

    Lucy - make sure your lobelia seedlings are well established before putting in a cold frame as the night temperatures are still abit low, I'd wait another month at least.


  • Denno666Denno666 Posts: 109

    Is it ok to put a cold frame direct on patio slabs, or does it have to be on top of soil?

  • nanessananessa Posts: 5
    Mine is on the patio, but I do use wood to keep the plants off the cold stones. It is south westerly facing so gets a fair bit of sun in the afternoon. I open it up on warm days but we also get a good bit of wind on the side of our hill so have to be careful. No problems last year at all. I don't have a greenhouse so it's main use is for hardening off.
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  • Denno666Denno666 Posts: 109

    Thanks for the replies, although I'm starting to wish I'd made my own, given the amount I paid - it was delivered but no instructions and one bit of wood was too narrow so there would be a gap, and now have to wait for a replacement bit of wood image. Still, we live and learn!

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