Garden cloches are an essential tool for all gardeners as they protect delicate and tender crops in their early stages and they increase soil and air temperatures in early spring and late autumn extending the gardeners growing season. Cloches also extend the range of vegetables that can be sown and even help to protect crops against pest attacks.
These handy pieces of equipment come in a range of sizes, and there is one to suit every gardeners needs. However if you don’t want to spend the money, ranging from 12 euro to 60 euro, then why not try and build your own garden cloche?
The garden cloche i will show you how to make is a simple ‘mini –polytunel’ style of cloche that is used to cover an entire row of your vegetable patch.
There are a few things that you will need to build your own, but nothing expensive and most that you can find lying around the place. You will need; An old garden hose, a number of clothes pegs, a number of old clothes hangers (the wire ones) and some clear polythene sheets (approx 1.2M X the length of your vegetable plot.
To start; Take the old garden hose and cut it into even sized lengths of 1.2M. Next unwind the old clothes hangers and push them through the old garden hose pieces. Now bend the hangers to create a wide ‘U’ shape, you will need 5 of these for a 2M long Cloche. These ‘U’ shaped sections will from the structure of your tunnel.
Next; on the Vegetable plot position the ‘U’ shaped sections evenly along the row of vegetables you wish to protect. Make sure that each section is equal height and width and that they are all in a line.
Once done you can turn your attention to the polythene cover. Cut you polythene section so that they are 1.2M in Width and as long as your vegetable garden or cloche needs to be. When you have it cut out, place it over the ‘U’ shaped sections. Take the old clothes pegs and use them to pin down the polythene to the ‘U’ shaped sections.
There it is; a simple Garden cloche made from a selection of useless items lying around your garden. If you find that you have a windy garden i would recommend that you place a line of soil along the edge of the polythene on both sides to prevent the wind from getting underneath and lifting your cloche up.
You can reuse it year after year and save yourself a lot of money and save your vegetables from a late frost or attack of pigeons or rabbits!