Skip to content
Established 1975 A Trusted Brand
Made In Britain Homegrown Company
Safe & Secure Feel Confident as You Shop
Established 1975 A Trusted Brand
Made In Britain Homegrown Company
Safe & Secure Feel Confident as You Shop

What is A Cold Frame? What Types Of Cold Frame Are Available.

What is A Cold Frame? What Types Of Cold Frame Are Available.

4 minute read

A Cold Frame is a must for every gardener, it creates covered growing space which is essential for successful gardening.

Before talking about using one in your garden, let’s define what a ‘cold frame’ is.

timber cold frame  plastic cold frame  temporary cold frame 

Definition of a Cold Frame

There are lots of different definitions when describing a cold frame – this gives us an idea of how many different types are available. Here are just a few examples: 

‘an unheated, boxlike, glass-covered structure for protecting young plants outdoors’

Cold frames do not have to be glazed with glass, they are also available glazed with polycarbonate, polythene or acrylic.

‘essentially the smallest of greenhouses and is one of the most common do-it-yourself gardening projects. It provides a simple way to grow plants throughout the winter months by harnessing the power of the sun. Cold frames can be used to extend the growing season, to protect semi-hardy plants such as herbs or to get a pre-season start on flower and vegetable seedlings’

‘protective covering consisting of a wooden frame with a glass top in which small plants are protected from the cold’

Traditionally they would have had a wooden frame, but it is now possible to buy them with aluminium frames or frames made from tubular steel.

‘a large box with glass sides that you keep young plants in before you plant them outside’

‘In agriculture and gardening, a cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure, built low to the ground, used to protect plants from cold weather. The transparent top admits sunlight and prevents heat escape via convection that would otherwise occur, particularly at night’

‘a glass-covered frame without artificial heat used to protect plants and seedlings’

Normally used without heat, if needed you can often add a small heater to lift temperatures on especially cold nights.

‘A low structure with a translucent top, used for protecting plants from the weather and for hardening-off young seedlings’

‘A four-sided structure with a glass or plastic covering used to shelter young plants or transplanted seedlings from cold temperatures’

‘Low structure with solid sides in timber, brick, concrete steel, aluminium or sometimes plastic with a removable clear top (known as the 'light') in glass or transparent plastic. Provides protection from the most severe weather and used especially for hardening off’

‘Refers to a structure which is built to trap heat and help the strong growth of seedlings which have been germinated before the soil has warmed in’.

What we’ve learnt from the above definitions is that a these frames are usually low to the ground, have clear glazing in the top, are shaped designed to act as a suntrap, are used to protect plants from harsh weather conditions and are a place to harden off plants raised in your home or greenhouse prior to planting out.

In addition we know that there is a wide range available, depending on the material used to make their frame and the type of glazing. To help you choose the correct frame for your garden, we can look at the benefits of the different types available.

timber cold frame  cold frame with aluminium frame  cold frame with steel frame 
Timber Framed
Aluminium Framed
Tubular Steel Framed
cold frame with plastic glazing  cold frame with glass glazing  cold frame with double skinned plastic glazing 
Polythene Glazing
Glass Glazing
Double Skinned Plastic Glazing
cold frame with hinged lid  cold frame with sliding top panels  cold frame with sliding and hinged top 
Hinged Top
Sliding Lights Top
Hinged / Sliding Top
low cold frame  double height cold frame  cold frame on bench 
Low Frame
Double Height Frame
Frame with Bench

To Buy a Coldframe CLICK HERE

Our blog posts are created from our personal knowledge, information gathered by speaking to other gardeners or manufacturers in the gardening industry, by reading gardening magazines and devouring information from books and the internet. We aim to be as accurate as we can, so if you find a mistake, please remember, we’re only human. if you have any queries you can contact us today!

« Back to Blog