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Time to get back to my coldframe construction – it’s been put on the back burner a little since all the blessed weeds started growing in about April. I’m currently juggling with a Heath Robinson construction of planks and old greenhouse glass next to my greenhouse as the home for my long-suffering seedlings (late-sown summer annuals, mostly) – I do wish I could get on and finish the deluxe model. At this rate it’ll be just about ready for the first frosts…

Anyway, I think I left this just as the uprights were nicely battened and ready to clad. You start by doing the end uprights, the ones you put battens around the inside edges as well as at top, back, front and base. The reason for these inside battens will now become obvious: these are what you fix the cladding to.

This is a pretty easy process: you can either use thin planks, like I have, or following the Terence Conran design more closely, you can use overlapping cladding, which is kind of wedge shaped and widely available from DIY stores. I originally thought this would look a bit clunky (actually I still think that) but now I think it might be the better option – the above looks smart, but it does inevitably mean tiny gaps between the planks, as wood rather inconveniently tends to move as it gets soaked or dries out. Cladding, on the other hand, can move all it likes but it’s still overlapping, so no draughts.

The only slightly tricky bit is cutting the top triangular wedges to size: the best way is to draw the shape of the upright onto the planks as a cutting guide before you actually nail them on to the battens. Or you can do it like me, and fiddle about cutting extra bits off here and there as you go along, thus doubling the time it takes you and making you swear in frustration.

No prizes for guessing that we’ll be cladding the rest of it next time.

Previous bits of the series:

How to make a coldframe #1

How to make a coldframe #2

How to make a coldframe #3