Cold and hot frames

Cold and hot frames have been used extensively for centuries in North Europe and North America to extend growing seasons and to continue providing greens even during the harsh winters.  Cold frame in Potager du Roi, ParisCold frame in Linnaeu's garden, Uppsala, SwedenCold frames, seen in the two examples from the Potager du Roi, Versailles, Paris (left) and Carl Linnaeus' garden in Uppsala, Sweden (right) respectively, allow sunlight to provide slightly warmer conditions for plants during spring and autumn.

Hot frames are similar to cold frames but are built to accommodate a depth of approximately 300mm filled with relatively fresh cow or horse manure and layer of soil. The microbial activity in the breaking down of the manure provides the necessary heat, the soil layer creates a buffer for the vegetables to develop in.  We are going to experiment with the hot frame this winter as we have a house cow on our property in Woodend with a ready supply of manure, and a relatively protracted winter which truncates vegetable growing times.

Service and pricing scheme

We design and build a hot or cold frame customized to your needs.   Second hand materials would be ideal for these projects.

For more on cold and hot frames

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