Wednesday, 27 January 2016


The garden cloche is a glass or plastic covering, placed over plants to protect them from harsh weather, usually frosts.  The word comes from the french for bell, since they used to be bell-shaped. Originally, they were made of glass, and placed individually over the plants.  You can also get opaque ones for forcing plants such as rhubarb.

Cloches can cost a lot, especially in relation to the value of the plants they are protecting.  I once saw some excellent cloches, made from terracotta, designed for forcing rhubarb.  Lovely they were, but at about 55 quid each, I figured you can buy a awful lot of rhubarb for that.

My Dad used to make cloches from rectangles of salvaged glass that were placed to form a triangular tent over the plants, lines of them used to cover planted rows of seeds or seedlings.  I don't happen to have any suitable glass, but I can get transparent corrugated plastic fairly cheaply.   A sheet 2.5 metre by 0.9m costs about 15 euros.  I got two, here they are being a cloche.  I need to get some flat transparent plastic to cover the ends; my wife has some suitable perspex that I can cut to size.

Just under 5 metres of cloche, 30 euros.  Nay bad.  Sturdy, and stores flat too, when not in use.

As an optional enhancement, I might try using the bendy green poles, suitably shortened, to hold them in place instead of the rustic-effect sticks.


Helen Devries said...

I use corrugated plastic here to cover peppers and tomatoes in the rainy season...but have to build a frame work to which to attach the sheets.

30 Euros! Balm to a Scots heart.

James Higham said...

A case where the French word is more beautiful than the device, but not as useful.

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