Classy Cloches

This post title is obviously a joke as these cloches are not very classy! But, fashion before function doesn’t always work in the garden. Cloches, or mini greenhouses/coverings for plants, are SO useful.

DSC_8062 (335x500)

Paper cup cloche

Not only do they protect plants from dips in temperature, but they also shield freshly planted seedlings from very hot sunshine. Ideally, transplanting should be done in the evening, but if this timing is not feasible, you really do need something to protect them from the sun.

Using a water bottle

Water bottle cloche (the bottom -which is now the top- is slit to allow air flow)

Milk jugs make the ideal cloche as they provide plenty of room for the seedlings to grow.

Milk jug cloche

Milk jug cloche

I ran out of milk jugs and was transplanting lots of peppers, eggplants, cucumbers and other tiny seedlings and didn’t want them to get scorched. So I just cut a hole in the bottom of little paper cups and voilà, the seedlings have just enough shade.

Shaded seedling

Shaded seedling

Obviously, the paper cups are going to disintegrate after the next few waterings and they are not providing real protection from cold (forecast around here is finally hot, hot, hot!) but I think they will do the job of providing a bit of extra protection while they acclimate to the garden!

Lots of tiny little cups!

Lots of little cups!

If you garden where it is still chilly at night you can use a more substantial cloche and even cover the plants completely (i.e. cap the milk jugs) at night to insulate heat-loving plants (i.e. melons, peppers, eggplants) from the cold. Just make sure to uncap (or uncover) the plants during the day so they don’t suffocate!

Lots of little cups!

Lots of little cups!

Coverings, even as meager as these little cups, will also protect delicate seedlings from wind! If wind is an issue for you, just make sure to pile dirt around the sides of each cloche so they don’t blow away! It would be amazing to have a collection of more reusable cloches (i.e. hand-blown free-form glass, geometric wood/glass mini greenhouse structures and maybe even some with stained glass) but for now milk jugs, paper cups and plastic water bottles will have to do!



2 thoughts on “Classy Cloches

  1. thelandroverownerswife

    Lol! If you could see my garden this morning! I have empty plastic laundry capsule boxes covering my newly emerged potato leaves and large terracotta plant pots over the larger potato leaf clumps. The there are large plastic ‘builders’ buckets, usually used to grow beans in, over most of the squashes and courgettes, 3 propagator lids cover the rest except for one squash which is in one of the large half barrels and is too near the bamboo canes to fit a propagator lid. That one has a bubble wrap tent over and around it :) I also wrapped some more bubble wrap very loosely around the climbing bean pyramid but I don’t think this will have made much difference in all honesty but we have to try these things.

    Temperatures dropped quite low last night, although not quite to freezing I think. I’m not sure if my efforts will be sufficient but at least they give the plants a chance. Today I will be sowing more squash just in case and I’m due to sow more beans for succession anyway, I’ll be uncovering the plants later so I’ll get an idea how they have coped but it will be several days, in reality before the true picture emerges.

    We could really do with summer arriving about now :)

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      It is a lot of work to protect the little plants! Hope your coverings work and warm weather comes soon for you! I like the bubble wrap that’s a good idea!


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