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in Tools and techniques
I have an old solid wood single divan bed frame basically basically a huge rectangle of wood with nothing in the middle. I was thinking of turning it into a raised bed but have so many young plants in the house its getting a bit mad, so thought a cold frame would be a good idea. I have some large sheets of glass I can sit on top.
I would just like some advise on how to get the best from it.
Is insulation required, etc?
Where is best to sight a cold frame?
I have a lot of raised beds at the side of the house but the only space left big enough for a single bed size cold frame at the side of the house does not get a huge amount of sun but it is shady and gets a little afternoon sun and next to the living room wall so possibly some residual warmth from house.
I could sight else where but that would be halfway down the garden more sun but less walls to protect.
Also what can i put out have lots of cues, courgettes, tomatoes and lettuce as well as peppers , Aubergines caulis and cabbages, and herbs in the house all raised from seed.
Nin, A question. Do you have a greenhouse? some of those things you have grown need cover until we get the hot weather at least. Most people would site the cold frame next to the greenhouse for ease of moving stuff in and out as does Monty on GW.
The idea of a cold frame is to ease the plants from the warmth of its birth to a place where it can be hardened to the weather so on normal days the glass would be opened cold wet days kept closed or just an inch open to breath.
Glass needs to be in frames as it is easily broken and not a good thing if children are around, most use plastic the idea is the plants are on the soil usually much warmer than high up on a shelf so do not need much insulation. Up against a wall would be good, some sunshine also good, they are shaded by the wall of the cold frame. a warning, watch out for snails and slugs.
Thanks for coming back to me in answer to your first question I do not have a greenhouse just a lot of windowsills, a coffee table(in a corner and an airing cupboard.
The idea of the cold frame was to get some stuff out of the house and make room for the more tender stuff to be potted on. I grew my aubergines last year on the landing window sill quite succesfully. I also grew some lovely chillis which i overwintered in the house.
Glass is old toughened glass from a cupboard and a table and I dont tend to have children around the garden as mine are now all grown up.
I am on a tight budget and have been looking for a second hand green house on ebay yet to find one locally that will fit in a small space.
Much of my garden is raised beds on concrete with a small lawn and a little standard veg patch at the end.
Nin, I would say well done as a gardener with a large greenhouse and plenty of room it is still hard work, for you with none of those things and to succeed is a labour of love indeed.
Yes the frame will do nicely and toughened glass is OK with no children about, I have young grandchildren and have to watch them near the greenhouse. Up against the wall will as you say give residual heat, you will find you need to remove the glass early morning or at least lift it on blocks to let the air in, put it all back in the evening and if there looks like a frost then a couple of feet of bubble wrap or blanket is reasonable in price and worth pounds in saved plants, lift that as soon as the day warms up.
Some people seem to make progress against all odds you appear to be one of them, good luck and one more thought a cold frame can also be made from old cardboard boxes with some plastic sheet stretched over, we gardeners make do and mend on occasion.
Thanks for the compliment palaisglide