Gardening Tricks, Orchid Growing Tips, Types of Orchids

A Cold Frame on a Cold Day


Outdoor Orchid CareThose intrepid gardeners of the northern regions often find that a good chunk of the year is devoted to a particularly nasty period of cold which is not always the best for flowers and gardens. This, “winter” is not always the kindest to those cursed with a green thumb but with the aid of a cold frame, gardening during the colder months is actually possible.

A cold frame is basically a micro-environment for your garden. Much like a greenhouse, the cold frame draws and traps heat, which is ideal for extending the growing season of your garden. Some even use a cold frame for their flowers. Even orchids have been known to be kept perfectly fine in a cold frame.

A cold frame looks like a box with a window that holds the garden or flowers and really it does not even have to be anything more complicated than that. Some gardeners choose to buy cold frame kits made of special materials with treated and tempered glass that promises to be the best way to trap heat.

Personally, I see no need for manufactured kits when you can easily assemble one for relatively cheap.

Many gardeners prefer making their own just for the sake of doing it and as a way to save some cash. You can either choose a portable cold frame or one that is fixed to a location. You can find a witty and detailed set of instructions over at Cats and Catts: Insane in the Cold Frame.

There are several blueprints for cold frames that can be found online and in popular gardening blogs but you will essentially need wood, a pane of glass or a discarded window and an afternoon free.

The uses for a cold frame are numerous depending upon the season. Planting seedlings in the cold frame will insure a safe incubation period and produce will be able to resume growing much sooner than those that were left outside of the cold frame. Outside flowering plants will enjoy an extended blooming period while inside the shelter and the heat of the cold frame while their cousins go into hibernation.

A cold frame is a great tool for every gardener no matter the skill level. Easy to build, simple to use, cold frames are certainly the way to go.

To find the right type of orchid for you (some that will go great in a cold frame and some that will not), this is the Top 10 Most Popular Types of Orchids.

Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Mitchy Balotsky says:

    Whoa! Thanks for the idea. I was having hard time thinking on how to protect my plants specially my orchids. It doesn’t really matter whether it would be cold or hot day, I think it really needs protection from the heat and freeze. I should really do much research aid for gardening. Thanks so much!

    • Mary Ann says:

      You’re very welcome! 🙂 I’m glad this helped you out. Please keep me updated about how it’s going. – MAB

  2. Sophia Seff says:

    I hired someone to do the frame for me. I didn’t know that it would be such an easy chore. I wish I did it all by myself so I could embrace the effort. It would be more special for my garden specially if my visitors would know it was me who did it. But unfortunately, I was not the one.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Don’t beat yourself up so much! 🙂 You are doing the best you can. And of course there is always another time. You can always build a box in the future and replace it. 🙂

  3. Evert says:

    Hi Mary Ann,

    Living in Thailand and having always had a enthusiasm for orchids , I’m concentrating on growing Asian specie plants.
    Planning to build a shaded area outdoor frame , I wander if you can give me any advise on frame height , place for racking and hanging plants and a sprinkler position. Any recommendations for flooring area.
    Your response would be appreciated !
    Kind regards,

  4. Karen Dennis says:

    Awesome. Thank you for this great idea. BTW…I love cats myself. I have 3 right now.

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