Aside from protecting the plants from the harsh and cold weather conditions, this particular type of greenhouse is also made especially to help extend the growing season of vegetables as well as fruit bearing and flower bearing plants. Most of the time, they are constructed as expansions to larger, heated greenhouses. They are usually built in the southernmost side of the bigger greenhouse structure. Also, they are usually used as a transition area where newly germinated seeds can grow before they are introduced on to the bigger and heated greenhouses or before they are planted in the outdoors.
Generally, cold frame greenhouses look a lot like hotbeds or hotboxes. Each structure can generate various amounts of heat, depending on the design. These structures are especially designed to absorb the natural heat of the sun and keep them in for longer periods of time to keep the environment at favourable growing conditions.
Today, more of the cold frame greenhouse structures are created for growing various kinds of plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables. These structures are mainly made for creating a separate space that gives out proper insulation for protecting vegetation from the cold and the ever changing outdoor weather.
Because of this, cold frame greenhouses have become an important structure in areas with colder climates and winter seasons. These structures have also made it possible for gardeners to start planting seeds early in the season, even when the climate is not favourable for growing vegetation.
Today, there are a wide variety of cold frame greenhouse designs in the market. There are now ready made kits available which already contain all the materials needed and an easy step-by-step manual that one can follow for construction. It is also possible to make cold frame greenhouses out from materials that you already have at home. Simple wooden frames and recycled window panes can be good enough to make the structure. Glass can also be substituted for thicker, clear plastic.
Some of the cold frame greenhouse structures are slanted designed for getting the most amount of sunlight during the day – especially during the winter months, and for facilitating water run-off during wet, rainy seasons.