Wooden Cold Frame from Lakeland – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Cold frame with double-skin walls and hinged lid.

Lakeland Ref 51434

A home from home for hardening off greenhouse plants ready for planting out, or over-wintering garden pot plants, our cold frame has double-skin polycarbonate walls to prevent Jack Frost getting in, and the hinged lid locks open at varying angles for adjustable ventilation and easy access.

The sturdy wooden frame has been specially coated with a weatherproof spray to give years of service whether on a patio or in your beds. Self-assembly.

This product is not available in the Lakeland stores and can only be bought from the catalog.

Dimensions: 1m x 66 x 40cm H. (39" x 26" x 15").

Taking the cold frame out of the box, going through the instructions and then putting it together took about three quarters of an hour, give or take, and that included me having to look for some suitable screws to complete the project as the manufacturers had left out one packet of screws. Just a packing error and those, as all of those that have ever dealt with flat pack furniture, ala IKEA, know well enough.

The assembly of the frame is and was straightforward though I, personally, would have preferred written instructions rather than the now way too common hieroglyphics. A combination of pictures with some good instructional text wold be better. This is not, by any means, meant to be criticism for the product itself but as to general practice. Why we are being given hieroglyphics nowadays as instructions still is strange to me.

This is a real good-looking little cold frame that is not just practical but also enhances the visual appearance of your garden or allotment.

The frame is made of softwood of the conifer family and the “glass” panels are horticultural double-skin polycarbonate sheets. The lid can be arrested in different open positions for ventilation by means of a brass slider on both sides that is held by a wing nut and this seems to work very effectively.

As the frame, even though it is wooden framed, is rather light anchoring it to the ground will be very important. Using anchor pegs such as used for tents, I do not think, will suffice, even tough people will be tempted to do just that. However, I have had a bad experience with a cold frame of a similar nature – from a different source – having taken off in strong winds and ending up destroyed.

I have been thinking of fixing this cold frame to a wooden base, such as an old pallet, at the same time reusing that one, and may still do so. Presently, however, I have anchored the wooden cold frame using four paving bricks and this should be sufficient for all but the strongest of gales.

Anchoring the frame is very important so as to prevent it from taking a flight during strong winds, and this can happened quickly when the lid is open and a gust catches it. Such anchoring, in lieu of my thought of affixing it to a base, could be accomplished by placing a brick on each of the metal corner pieces on the inside of the frame. The weight of the bricks should be sufficient as anchors.

I do not know whether, especially of one would consider one's own time as cost, one could build a frame such as this for less than the purchase cost of this wooden cold frame from Lakeland, except, maybe, if the lumber, for instance, would b e sourced for free.

Unlike an “ordinary” and more stationary cold frame this wooden cold frame can be due to their lightness and the fact that they can be simply anchored to the ground, also b e used as to cloche of sorts. A very nice touch.

The above means that the cold frame can be used to bring on crops and when established the frame can then be moved to another area to bring on other seeds.

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