Cold Frame for Hardening off Plants?

paper_crane2(5a)March 25, 2013

I'm starting about 6 flats of seedlings indoors under lights. I was planning to harden them off in a cold frame. Would a painter's plastic drop cloth work for covering pvc pipe?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think painters drop cloth is too thin. You need a heavier plastic but why you'd want a cold frame for hardening off plants beats me. I hope know you just couldn't put them out there and forget them. A cold frame takes a lot of work. It has to be opened and closed every day and plants tend to dry out in them if they are in pots. Even on a cloudy day heat from the sun builds up in a cold frame. Stick plants grown inside in a cold frame and you'd have fried plants

You can't put plants directly in the sun to harden them off. They need to be gradually introduced to the sun or the UV rays will burn them.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I lived in Michigan the cold frames we used were made from old window frames with a box built to hold the window frame, using hinges. Before setting them out fresh manure was buried then covered with several inches of soil for bottom heat. And yes during sunny days they do need to be opened some depending on how warn the daytime was as well as how hot the sun rays were. Never found this to be that big of a chore in Michigan.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

If you build it properly then it should work for you. When first starting with it you'll need to monitor the temperature outdoors and inside the tunnel. Keep in mind that your plants will be more at risk of burning than freezing. When in doubt make sure that it is ventilated during the day and closed at night. It's probably too early for things like tomatoes, peppers and basil to go into coldframes. Hardier things like spinach, onions, chives, lettuce, broccoli, mints, thyme, strawberries, cabbage etc are fine to be outside now.

You also need to harden plants off before moving them to cold frames. Not as much as a full time move to the great outdoors. I usually take about 4-5 days of increasing time outside. After being in my frames for about a week I consider them ready for transplanting though many will stay in the frames longer.

Below is a picture of my cold frames.

This post was edited by gjcore on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 14:01

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A cold frame can be very useful.I've used 2 for years.A heavy plastic or glass is needed.There are many inexpensive ways to rig up something to harden off plants.Sometimes I put plants in our garden cart with plastic on a frame on top.A quilt with tarp over will keep things warm if it turns cool.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:48PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
When to uncover seedlings?
I've successfully started seeds for years by bottom...
Help! Pro-mix BX and green algae
This is my first time to use Pro-mix BX. I kept hearing...
BloomCin Zone 6b North Jersey
How do my seedlings look to you?
Hi everyone, I have been a member for awhile and have...
Question about growing from seed in small greenhouse
Hi everyone, I bought a small greenhouse from Ocean...
Crock pot as a "heating pad"
Just had my first cleome seed sprout after about a...
Sponsored Products
Oak Park Pendant by Tech Lighting
$280.00 | Lumens
Corona 7 Piece Outdoor Patio Sectional Set in White Light Blue
$1,425.00 | LexMod
Antoinette King Bed - TAUPE
$6,379.00 | Horchow
Maxim Chantilly 22" Wide Nickel Jewelry Chain Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Liberty Furniture Taylor Springs Sleigh Bed & Dresser & Mirror & Chest & Nightst
Beyond Stores
Silver Web Chrome Pendant
$298.00 | Bellacor
Parker Living - Twain Brown Tri-Tone Leather Reclining Sofa Set -...
Great Furniture Deal
JAR Design 'Alphonse Tufted' Barley Queen-size Bed
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™