Budget cold frames or greenhouse kits?

I’m starting to think about overwintering. I can put some trees in the garage; others have to stay outside. What should be looking for in a cold frame or greenhouse? What should I avoid? I’m in zone 7a, winter lows tend to be around 10-15°F, which is something like -8 or -10°C, I think.

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I am a bit colder so I went with homemade and well insulated so I can keep it at just above freezing with a 1500 W heater unless it gets really cold. It lets in light, but I also put shade cloth over the top. I want light, but not the sunshine of a standard greenhouse.


Sunshine will vary your temperatures a lot if you don’t put something up to block most of it. Don’t know what your winter skies are like but bright blue sun warms them up a lot. All depends on what kinds of trees you are putting in there. A good controls system allowing you to exhaust air and bring in some cooler outdoor air as the inside warms up is good but be careful as drafts can kill trees. this will be a learning experience for you the first year. Not familiar with your zone but I do something similar in zone 4.

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On Amazon lots of great kit greenhouses. Then buy a heater from a greenhouse supply store on line too. Easy .

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. It looks like this year, I’ll be rearranging the garage to keep trees there. It has decent south facing windows, and I can put up some plastic sheets to stop drafts from opening the door. Next year I might be able to invest in a permanent structure.

I am in zone 8, coastal Virginia, and erected a small greenhouse frm a kit last year. I put in a small space heater that was connected to a separate thermostat. This winter the temperature dropped to 7 degrees Fahrenheit a few mornings and I was able to keep it up to 45 to 50 degrees. I overwinter my tropicals in it.


Very nice! I’ve seen several similar kits online, but I think that’s for next fall’s budget.