Using a Cold Frame

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I wonder if I could pick your brains about using cold frames!

When do you use a cold frame - all year round or just start and end of growing season?
How much longer can you extend your growing season using a cold frame?
Do you ever heat your cold frame during the winter months?
What do you heat it with?
What do you grow in your cold frame?

Thank you in advance for your response.
 
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In the UK's temperate climate used both to harden off cool-weather plants to frost tender plants, usually from March to June or to overwinter plants, Nov-March, with the space between used to grow vines, like winter squash, melons, cucumbers, which can be marginal here.
I've never heard of anyone heating a cold frame, kinda defeats the purpose, & they're usually too small in volume to retain much heat, so expensive to do so.
 
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Thanks you headfullofbees. I'm thinking of constructing a cold frame somewhere in the garden as an additional area to my greenhouse where I can continue to grow vegetables in the winter months so that's good to know.

I have been reading about hot beds which sound like they are essentially a cold frame on top of a bed of manure that gives off heat so was just wondering if it is worth building my cold frame close to a power source so I could introduce heating if that would mean I could do more with it when it gets cold. You are probably right though that it would be expensive - particularly nowadays!
 
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A hotbed is simple enough to construct, just a bit of hard work.

I'm growing first early potatoes now in a hotbed I have built in one of the greenhouse borders, with the idea that they're out before I put in the cucumbers & butternuts (which are marginal here.
 
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It is a good place to put pots in winter, even hardy plants suffer if their pot and roots freeze
"Do you heat it?" I think the answer is in the name, cold frame.
The height restriction means it is generally more useful for raising early in Spring than for keeping going in Autumn.

Sorry, just discovered I didn't post this when I wrote it earlier.
 
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Thanks Oliver, that’s helpful. I hadn’t really thought about the height restriction. I am keen to see if I can have a productive garden all through the winter this year so just trying to figure out how I can use a cold frame to help with this. I have seen people putting light bulbs in their cold frames and poly tunnels to provide a little extra heat on very cold nights hence my question about heating.
 

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