Difference between Hot Bed and Cold Frame

Hot Bed
Cold Frame
1. A hot bed is generally a mass of well-prepared manure placed out doors with a glass or polythene frame placed on top to it.
1. A cold frame is an outdoor growing “area” built without a bottom but with a solid-sided frame of wood, cement or brick, and a removable hinged top, glazed with glass, Fiberglas, or plastic.
2. Hot beds are used for starting the plants.
2. Cold frames are used for tempering or hardening plants to outdoor conditions before transplanting.
3. Hot beds have a heat source.
3. Cold frame has no heat source.
4. Hotbeds are heated with electric soil cables, stable manure or steam, or hot water heated with flues.
4. Cold frames receive all of their heat directly from the sun.
5. Present-day hot beds are built even with or slightly below ground level and covered by glass sash.
5. Present-day frames are often completely above ground and plastic covered.
6. Hotbed can be used earlier in the spring and later in fall and early winter than the cold frame.
6. Cold frame used later in the spring and earlier in fall and later winter than the hot beds.

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