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Really need cloches?


By Hazel

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom Gb

On gardeners world and in Sarah Raven's many articles they always mention and show photos of a very lovely looking cloche, corrugated plastic with a closed end that can be adjusted for ventilation. I'm new to this veggie gardening lark and want to "do the right thing", but when I found the actual cloches in question, the Longrow Super Cloche, I find they are £34.95 each....
Anyone any comments on cloches? What sort is best? Is the gardeners world type worth the money??? Will I really use one even?!!
Thanks in advance.




I was wondering the same things Hazel, so last year I did an experiment. I grew 2 rows of carrots. One I left out in the open and over the other I used a bit of corregated plastic that I had lying around and bent it over and pined it down with sticks on either side - the effect was similar to your picture. Anyway, the row under the cloche did come up earlier than the ones in the open, by a couple of weeks I think. The only problem I found is that I had to dismantle the whole thing to water them, as of course the rain could not reach them. IN the end, the ones in the garden court up and I honestly don't think there was any difference in the end product. This year, I think I'm put the plastic over the courgettes and butternut squash and see what happens. I don't think they're a 'must have' tho. And easy to mock one up out of scraps instead of shelling out 35 quid! Hope this helps!

12 Mar, 2008


Oh but my veggie patch will look SO beautiful, a la Sarah Raven, if I get the posh ones! lol.

I agree, cloches probably bring things on a bit to start with but come with their own inherent problems, like not letting the rain through as you mentioned.Will prob improvise this year with cheapo stuff to see how i get on using them.

My mum used to use old sheets of glass leaning together, fixed at the top with bits of rusty wire in an a-frame affair. Seemed to work but probably potentially lethal with all the sharp edges.

12 Mar, 2008


The idea of cloches is to warm up the soil for early seed sowing and give protection early in the season. Once the weather has warmed up and things are growing away well, you don't need the cloches over the crop

12 Mar, 2008


Cloches are great for getting in early sowings and getting a head start on the growing season and they can also be used in the following ways.

Weather protectors. We have just had a week of sun and everything is growing like mad, it is only going to take one big frost or more snow and the whole lot will be lost. A cloche will protect the growing plants from the uncertain weather during spring.

Hardening off plants. If you have been growing indoors or a greenhouse then they can be used to harden off the plants when they go out.

Sucessional sowing. Fantastic for this, in particular fast growing crops.

Pest protection. Cloches can be used to create a protected environment against pests. Very good if you have a major slug problem, will keep control measures contained.

End of season crops. Will prolong the cropping period by protecting the plants at the end of the season.

26 Mar, 2009


Hi Hazel,
I definitely think it's worth investing in some kind of protection if, like me , you are impatient and like to get growing early in the season. But I think some of these products, although maybe very good, are too expensive to justify buying, just to grow a few veg under. Personally, I use a mini polytunnel/cloche (you can see mine in my 2nd blog) and they are perfectly adequate but much cheaper than the rigid type shown in your photo. The ones I have are made by Horrocks(I think) and cost around £12/ £15 in garden centres, ,but I've also seen them on special offers if buying 2 or 3(buy one get one half price etc.)so it's worth looking around!
Hope this helps , Regards Paul.

29 Mar, 2009


you dont really need to buy cloches, you can make one. you can use big plastic bottles and cut the bottoms off for individual plants. or get some high tensile wire and plastic.

4 May, 2009

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