Greenhouses & Cold Frames

The last few days have been a bit grey and damp at best so I’ve been busy playing with the web site.


When I started the site I had no idea it would grow as it has done. Talk about grown like Topsy! (Who was Topsy??) So we’ve ended up with bunches of articles all jumbled together and now I’m sorting them out as well as adding new ones.

The latest section to go live is about greenhouses and coldframes. I’ve moved the existing articles on the subject into the new section so everything is in one place. Moving articles is actually a bit more complicated than it might seem, other web sites may well have linked to them and if people follow the old link they would not be sent to the right place. Luckily, there’s a system on the server that automatically sends people from one file location to another if you list the old and new address in a special file. Sometimes technology does work for you.

One thing I’ve been aware of for some time is that people don’t seem to use or understand the benefits of coldframes. Greenhouses are brilliant but for some plants starting off in a coldframe makes much more sense. They positively don’t want to be as comfortable as they would be in a greenhouse but the little extra shelter provided by the coldframe is just right.

The other point people seem to ignore, at their own peril, is ‘hardening off’. If you just take a plant from a nice warm greenhouse and stick it into the cold outside the shock may well kill it and it will certainly check the growth. The hardening off process introduces the plant to the outside gradually, enabling it to adapt and thrive in the outside world.

There’s more information about this and coldframes generally in Coldframes, How they work and types of coldframes.

The next article I put up was about how to build a coldframe. Some years back we couldn’t afford a greenhouse and we were tight for space anyway. Yet I wanted to get things going early and shelter plants. Even a new coldframe was expensive for me in those days so I built my own. I realised the most difficult thing was the glass lights at the top.

Although I think I could make a reasonable light nowadays, being more skilled and having more woodworking tools, it’s still quite tricky. Getting the opening lights from an old window was far easier. There are still lots of people getting old windows replaced with double glazing and usually the installers are only too pleased to let you have the old lights.

At the time I built the coldframes we were doing up an old house and had some rolls of polystyrene wallpaper. Now that’s great stuff when you have ropey plaster work and it also insulates the room. It’s amazing the difference it can make to a cold room.

I lined one of the coldframes with some of this wallpaper and boy, what a difference! The white colour reflected more light into the frame and this helped the plants, avoiding spindly seedlings. The extra warmth was beneficial as well, especially when we had a really cold spell and some -5° nights.

Anyway, I hope they are useful to people and the new set up makes it easier to find information for people. If you have an article you would like published on the site, just use the Contact Me link at the top.

Posted in New on Site
3 comments on “Greenhouses & Cold Frames
  1. John Jeffries says:

    Hi , That was interesting, I have aquired a large double glazed window can I use thiis to construct a coldframe?. Regards John.

  2. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with
    us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m
    bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Fantastic blog and wonderful style and design.

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