Cold frames are a simple, compact way to nurture seedlings outdoors, protect plants from the elements and free up space in an abundant greenhouse.
Using your cold frame in the spring allows you to wean peas and bean sowings and harden off tender young plants, while in autumn and winter it will extend your growing season and look after cuttings ready for the new year. It’s also easy to insulate your cold frame for added protection through colder spells.
If you need to stock up on supplies before you get started, we’ve rounded up the essential gardening tools every gardener needs as well as a list of quality Japanese garden tools. Or, if you’re looking for something a little bigger for garden, we’ve put together a guide to buying the best garden shed.
Whether you’re looking for wooden cold frames from sustainably sourced timber or something a little more modern, you’ll find just what you need in our pick of garden cold frames.
10 of the best garden cold frames for plants
Browse our recommendations for garden cold frames, in a variety of sizes and mix of materials, below.
Timber Grozone Coldframe
This ground-level cold frame box sits pretty amongst the flowerbeds. The timber frame is pressure treated to protect against rotting and the plastic panes are shatter-resistant for sturdiness and peace of mind. It also has adjustable height settings so you can fix it to a level that works for you.
Measurements: W100cm x D65cm x H40cm
Aluminium Grozone Cold Frame
A more compact cold frame for smaller plots, this model should fit snugly into tight spaces. Fitted with a split lid, each half can be accessed or ventilated separately, the glazing is hard-wearing polycarbonate and the frame is made from lightweight aluminium so it shouldn’t be too heavy to lift up and close.
Measurements: W100cm x D56cm x H40cm
Timber Grozone Max
For those who need more space, this large, multi-level cold frame has plenty of room to germinate seeds and shelter plants from the elements. The polycarbonate glazing is UV-stabilised and the wooden frame is made from FSC-certified timber. For easy access and ventilation across every shelf it has double front doors and a lift-up lid.
Measurements: W69cm x D49cm x H120cm
Sleeper Cold Frame
This sleek, timber cold frame offers plenty of protected ground-level growing space. Two independent, double pane lids allow access to each half and they lock separately to shield plants from cooler weather. Insulation helps prevent frost damage to your crops.
Please note – this cold frame requires two people and a drill for assembly.
Measurements: W170cm x D60cm x H43cm
Simplicity Toughened Glass Mini Cold Frame
This neat, toughened glass cold frame would work well in the corner of a patio and doesn’t take up too much room. The two safety glass windows can slide out completely or lift into preset positions to suit different stages of growth or weather conditions.
Measurements: D64 x H53cm
Large FSC Timber Overlap Cold Frame
This large cold frame has dual lids which can be propped open or closed individually. Each is fitted with a single pane of acyclic glazing, while the frame itself is made from sustainably sourced pressure treated timber and is expected to last for up to 15 years.
Measurements: W109 x D63 x H37cm.
Large Pressure Treated Wooden Cold Frame
Made from pressure treated FSC certified timber, this wooden cold frame has been built to last. Two individual lids each feature a single pane of transparent acrylic and can be propped open separately to allow ventilation. A long, good sized cold frame, this would sit well in larger gardens or on allotments.
Measurements: W167 x D50 x H37.5cm
Rowlinson Hardwood Cold Frame
Halls’ Hardwood cold frame features twin-walled polycarbonate glazing and has two storage shelves, offering extra room for young plants to thrive. Access, care and ventilation are provided through the front opening door or the lid, which can also be propped open. It’s guaranteed for one year.
Measurements: H80 x W60 x D61cm
Halls Jumbo Silver Cold Frame
If you’re looking for a cold frame with a little more height, this model with its apex sliding roof is a good option. The four roof lids provide easy access from every angle and they’re glazed with panes of toughened safety glass. The frame itself is made from aluminium and steel and guaranteed for 10 years.
Measurements: H62 x W86 x D129cm
Spear & Jackson Cold Frame
Spear and Jackson’s simple, wooden cold frame offers a wide, easily accessible nurturing space. Tanalised wood gives improved weatherproofing and a single, dual window lid provides easy access to your plants. It’s guaranteed for a year.
Measurements: H45 x W46 x D90cm