A raised bed cold frame is a system that is used to promote or kickstart early growth in our plants and flowers before we decide to plant them out-doors. This idea has been used frequently by gardening enthusiasts over the years and it serves as a transitional link between indoors and the outdoors. Without getting too technical about this, it basically consists of a raised bed which has a hinged-cover of either glass or plastic frame that can be opened during the daytime and can be closed down at night. It is a very powerful and cost efficient way of promoting and extending the growing season. These cold frame kits are available for purchase online and are reasonably inexpensive. We may also sourse these at our local hardware stockist or garden centres.
The thinking behind this system is very clever and it has numerous advantages. It serves to protect all our young crops, plants and seedlings from the frost and cold conditions, before we plant them outdoors. It will serve to kick-start our growing season, even though temperatures outside may not be conducive to early planting and sowing, we can however, begin this process in these cold frames. The idea is that we harden-off the plants in here and generally get them used to the outdoor climate, bit by bit, as we open the cold frame door during the daytime. It has all the traits and characteristics of a glasshouse or greenhouse without incurring any great expense.
Cold frame construction:
How simple and easy is this…? As we know, a raised bed frame is a rectangular or square box and what we are looking at here is a cover made from plastic or glass placed over this raised bed frame, that is basically it . I have seen several raised bed cold frames made from glass doors which have been placed lengthways across the beds. These doors are attached by hinges to one side of the frame and can be opened during the day and closed at night. The most popular methods that are used are, a frame made from lengths of timber and a plastic or polythene sheet attached to this frame. Again this frame door is secured to one side of the bed, enabling it to be opened or closed as the need arises, ( as per image below and above )
Cold frame uses;
This is what we call a necessary gardening accessory. When we get used to the advantages and benefits of an extra growing utility like this in our back garden, it will become impossibly difficult to be without one. We have outlined above how simple and easy it is to construct one of these raised bed cold frames. This system is utilised for a variety of purposes, mainly for starting early growth and extending the growing and planting season, to almost all the year round. As this cover is made from glass or plastic, this traps the heat from the sun, thus making for a warmer envoirnment inside this receptacle. The glasshouse effect is perfect for seed germination and plant propogation, thus honing our skills as becomming better gardeners and ultimately becomming better at what we do. The whole idea behind these cold frames is to save money and to assist us at becomming more self sufficient and self reliable.
Converting raised beds to cold frames:
We could if we wished construct a standard raised bed alongside or parallel to our garden shed, which would be a very useful and practical idea. The reason I am suggesting this is, in the springtime, it would be a very easy and simple exercise to convert our raised bed into a coldframe. All we would need is to construct a timber or wooden frame, the same dimensions as our raised bed and then just cover this frame with plastic polythene. Attach this frame to the raised bed with a pair of T hinges and we are done. Open and close this receptacle as we wish and we have a very functional cold frame. It makes great sense to try this exercise and the results will be astounding. Ideally we would like to locate or position this construction on the south facing side of our garden shed for obvious reasons, ie, to get the benefit of the warm spring sunshine, whilest hardening-off our seedlings and young crops.
Once we have used one of these gardening accessories, we would find it very difficult to be without one. The uses and benefits of these beds are numerous, while the weather outside may not be gardening friendly, inside one of these constructions its completely different. I trust that this post is useful and informative and if you would like to contact us about any issues mentioned here, please do so via the comments section down below.