cold frame vs greenhouse

If you’re looking to grow fresh vegetables or flowers indoors in the winter, you might be wondering which type of gardening system is best for you: a cold frame vs greenhouse? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

What is a cold frame?

A cold frame is a type of greenhouse that uses less energy than a greenhouse, and can be used in colder climates.

A cold frame is typically made from sheets of metal or plastic, with an opening at one end large enough for the plants to grow through. The frames are set up above ground level, out of the wind and rain.

The advantage of using a cold frame is that it can be used in colder climates where a greenhouse would not be possible. It is also cheaper to build than a greenhouse, and can often be put up in less time.

What is a greenhouse?

A greenhouse is a structure used to conserve natural resources by growing plants in an environment with controlled temperatures. The most common type of greenhouse is the frame type, which uses flexible panels or walls to control the amount of light and ventilation that reaches the plants.

The main benefits of using a greenhouse are that it helps preserve food, reduces energy costs, and makes it possible to grow plants during colder months when outdoor gardening is not possible. There are two main types of green houses: the direct-solar type, which uses sunlight as its source of heat, and the indirect-solar type, which uses heat from a furnace or water vaporization to produce warmth.

Pros and Cons of a Cold Frame vs. Greenhouse

A cold frame is a great option for gardeners who want to produce fresh vegetables and fruits without the need for expensive greenhouse space. One of the benefits of using a cold frame is that it doesn’t require any special heating or cooling equipment – you simply need to protect the frame from direct sunlight.

However, cold frames are not ideal for growing plants that require warm temperatures, such as tomatoes and peppers. Additionally, cold frames can be less efficient in terms of yields than more traditional greenhouses. Finally, cold frames are not typically waterproof, so they must be well-built and properly sealed if you want to use them in wet climates.

On the other hand, a greenhouse is a great option for gardeners who want to produce larger quantities of vegetables or fruits. Greenhouses typically have more efficient heating and cooling systems, which allows them to reach temperatures closer to those needed for specific plant species. Greenhouses also tend to be much more windproof and water-proof than cold frames, making them perfect for locations that experience high amounts of precipitation or flooding.

How to build a cold frame or greenhouse

A cold frame or greenhouse is a great way to extend the growing season and increase the yields of your plants. They are simple to build, and you can customize them to fit your needs. Here’s how to build a cold frame or greenhouse:

1. Choose an area for your cold frame or greenhouse that has good sunlight and strong wind protection. You can also place it near a water source if you have a garden that needs supplemental watering.

2. Assemble the frame using 2x4s, 2x6s, or other sturdy lumber. Make sure the framing is tight and level so the structure will hold its shape.

3. Cover the frame with plastic sheeting or tarpaulins to keep the weather out and provide insulation for your plants.

4. Install your plants and enjoy the benefits of a colder climate!


If you are looking to grow plants in colder climates. Such as the northern parts of the US or Canada. Then a cold frame might be the best option for you. A cold frame is essentially just an enclosed area with glass on all sides. That allows sunlight and air to reach your plants. This can be a great option if you have a small space and don’t want to invest in a greenhouse.
On the other hand, if you live in warmer climates and want to grow plants indoors year-round. Then a greenhouse might be the better choice for you. Greenhouses are large structures that typically have walls made out of glass or plastic. So that sunlight and air can enter the structure and reach your plants. They can also have heating systems installed inside them so that they can maintain comfortable temperatures year-round.

Donna Kate

Related post