A cold frame can be a useful tool for gardeners, allowing you to extend your growing season at both ends of the year. They are incredibly helpful for UK gardeners where we have shorter seasons than other parts of the world.
A cold frame is usually a simple timber box, sometimes metal. Fixed into this frame are plastic or glass panels. They are essentially a mini greenhouse and used for many of the same purposes.
If you are in the market for the best cold frame then look no further, we have done the research and compiled this complete buyers guide, just for you!
Best Timber Cold Frame
The woodside timber cold frame is our favourite wooden framed cold frame. For the price, this is a perfect sized frame coming in at 100cm long x 65cm wide x 40cm high. The lid has a holder so can be left open, really useful if you plan on also using the frame during warmer weather.
This cold frame is easy to assemble, and complete DIY novices can do the job. One slight issue we have with this frame is that it only uses a single hinge for the lid. This seems like an obvious failure point for us, and we would much prefer to see two hinges used!
Best Aluminium Cold Frame
If you are after a cold frame that will last a little longer, then you need an aluminium frame. These metal frames will survive outside in poor conditions for much longer than a wooden frame. The outsunny aluminium and plastic cold frame is an excellent long design coming in at 180cm long x 51cm high and 51 cm wide.
It has a large roof, allowing for ample airflow. Each top also comes with an adjustable latch, allowing you to set the height of the lid, very useful if you want to get a slight opening.
Due to the Aluminium and plastic construction, this cold frame is very light, meaning it can be easily moved all around the garden.
Best Square Cold Frame
For many reasons you may need a square cold frame, maybe the only place you have spare in the garden for a cold frame is square, or you might just not have the room for a long rectangular frame. For these gardeners, we recommend the Outsunny aluminium cold frame which is 100cm x 100cm and 48cm tall.
Why use a cold frame?
A cold frame soaks up heat from the sun and then retains in during colder weather, creating a micro-climate. They can even be used to protect your plants from frost, but do remember then are unheated and won’t work miracles. Speaking of unheated, you can add a small soil heater to your cold frame turning it into a hot frame, I know, inventive name.
If you are expecting particularly poor weather, you can even cover your cold frame with bubble wrap, newspaper, polystyrene and more to add to the protection. This extra insulation can be a lifesaver for your plants in harsh frosts.