allotment Tasks in the garden

A week of cold frame action – here’s a recap

You can use a cold frame all year round. Right now it’s good for acclimatising your seedlings and protecting succulents

It’s the weekend. Perfect time to make a cold frame. If not this weekend, perhaps next. A cold frame is a friend. You can use it throughout the year. In spring and early summer, to harden off young plants; in winter to protect your alpines. Unlike a glasshouse, these frames can be moved to where they are needed …

  • The cartoon shows two worms outside a coldframe made of aluminium and glass. The copy reads, Coldframes can be made from metal, platic, glass, brick, wood or even haybales. One worm says, "For a warmer coldframe I suggest using solid side with a glass top use wooden". The other worm replies, "you wood, wood you."
  • This cartoon is about cold frames being robust and easy to pen, to best protect plants fronm the wind and rain. Two worms are talking, one is in the ground outside the cold frame, the other is sitting on the rim of the cold frame, which is open. The worm on the groubnd says, " How easy was it to open and ventilate?" The other worm says, "A breeze, you might say."
  • Cartoon about planting out you seedlings from a cold frame in late spring. Two worms in a cold frame discussing when to plant out the young plants. One worm says to the other:"To be safe, best to plant out in late spring." The other worm says, "To be even safer, listen to the weather report."
  • Cartoon about cold frames being used after the spring hardening off period, and used in the summer on other tender crops to help increase yields. Two worms are looking at a cold frame with some crops in it. One worm says, " Do they get chilly then?" The other worm, misunderstanding the question, says" Yes, Aubergines and tomatoes, too."
  • A cartoon to say that you can use a cold frame for summertime propagation, taking cuttings and growing them in the cold frame. In this cartoon two worms are in the cold frame, one says, " Let's take semi-ripe cuttings of all your favourite plants." The other says, "we're going to need a bigger cold frame!"
  • This cartoon talka bout using a cold frame in the winter months to protect alpines from the cold and wet, damp soil. Two worms are in a muddy waterlogged border, in the background there is a cold frame. One worm says to the other, " Alpine can cope th the cold, they hate damp soil." The other worm says, "I must be part Alpine."

Here’s our guide to building a cold frame

Make your own cold frame – we did. If it helps, here’s a pdf to download and use – click this link to open a new page

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Put Pollinators First

If you haven’t already, take a look at our Put Pollinators First page, supporting the BBC Gardener’s World campaign to reduce the decline of insects and bees in our gardens. Join the campaign and plant some wild flowers in your garden, as well as deadheading your daffs.

That’s enough from the worms, here’s some tip-top advise from the experts

Including protecting your plants from slugs advice.

Gardener’s World talk about feeding your soil

RHS talk about what to do this month – spring is in sight …

Garden Organic talk about what to plant this month

Great direction, packed full of links and further reading

Year-round garden pruning guide

Great advice and full of quick and simple tips too, for example … don’t cut into tender plants or evergreens right now as their top growth provides insulation from penetrating cold.

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