Tips from Olle Garden Bed: 6 Ways to Use Cold Racks in Gardens

Whether you want to expand your crops in the cool season or protect your favorite potted perennials, cold framing is the way to do it. These settings are easy to install and even easier to use, making them ideal for winter and spring gardening. As a reward, there are also ways to use them in summer! The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

The minimalist structure occupies very little space in the garden, but it increases the urgent protection and storage for year-round use. However, if you need help getting out of the cold frame more than once, you'll be glad to hear that there are six ways to use them in your yard.

raised garden beds

What is a cold rack?

The cold frame is usually a wooden box with a transparent cover, located next to the wall of the house or greenhouse. They are easy to DIY from recycled materials such as old windows and wood. Although it is not heated, the transparent top captures solar energy and protects anything you put into it from the elements.

The size of these devices varies according to your needs, from the stylish A-frame style to small portable boxes. Although their structures are similar, the cold frame is different from the greenhouse because the cold frame usually has no heat source, and its main purpose is to protect plants from cool weather conditions. Cold shelves are usually much smaller than greenhouses.

6 ways to use cold frames

Fortunately, these DIY frameworks are very versatile. Soon you will have good crops and precious flowers!


If you have wrapped perennial plants before, you will know how time-consuming it is to overwinter container plants in the garden. Fortunately, cold frameworks turn tasks into things that require minimal effort and time. Wait until the ground freezes to prevent pests such as moles; You can then place the plants in a frame for winter protection.

Although plants do not produce lush green leaves in winter, you do not have to worry about displaying cut stems that can sometimes be dazzling. You can pull them out of the frame before spring, and they should return to normal growth.

Professional tips: Pack the cold rack with a large number of flower pots, and add leaves or coverings on the soil surface to prevent air gaps and keep warm. You can also use tarpaulins or other coverings so that plants do not get too much sunlight and start growing.

raised garden bed

Let seedlings seize the opportunity

The cold frame is also very suitable for taking the seedlings one step ahead. Gardeners can plant tomato plants, eggplants and peppers with seeds in the unit because it is warmer than outside. This also protects the new plant from cold winds and extreme weather changes.

You can add a mixture of well drained soil and compost and plant the seedlings directly in the frame or in the nursery basin. Remember to check the temperature of the cold rack before planting seedlings - 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is usually best.

Professional tips: place the cold frame so that it faces south for maximum sunlight.

Adaptive seedling

Whether you plant indoors or in a cold rack, they need to harden before being exposed to elements. Fortunately, a device can easily and gradually expose seedlings to changes in temperature, wind and rain.

When the daytime temperature is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the nighttime temperature is about 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you can open the cover of the cold box from morning till night. After a week, close the lid all day and all night. Then, transplant the seedlings into the flowerpot or garden before the third week.

Extend the season

Just like planting early in the spring to get a jump in the season, you can extend the season by storing container plants and vegetables in the unit in the fall. Similarly, turn the device toward the sun to ensure that the plants are warm enough when the weather cools.

This may increase your time to harvest leafy vegetables and root crops, but it also provides time for tomatoes and gourds to mature.

Tender crop

If you like, you can also plant plants in the cold frame until they are mature. The wind and rain will damage the delicate leaves of some plants, while pests and animals may creak on lettuce and other vegetables in the garden. Planting in a cold frame protects the plant from elements and nearby animals.

Just like planting seedlings, you can grow in flowerpots or directly on the ground of the cold shelf. Take care of and harvest the plants as usual, depending on their preferences.

Reward: storage

If you choose not to plant plants in the cold rack all summer, you can use it for storage. If your tool shed or garage is too far from the garden, please keep potted soil, watering can, additional seeds, common tools and other necessities in your unit for easy access and storage.

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Take the cold with you!

In short, frames are the perfect way to protect plants in cold weather. What this means actually depends on you, depending on whether you want to jump during the growing season, extend the life of the crop, store some items, and adapt to seedlings or wintering plants.

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