Cloche’s V Cold Frames

Have been having a think..As you do.

Like most i have tended to follow the normal path of raising plants for outdoor use inside, then hardening them off in the cold frame and finally planting them in place after a week or so. Errrrrr ..Why ??

Could there be a trick being missed or not being pushed more ? Our old friend  The Cloche. It is after all a multi  tasking…..portable….soil warming and plant protecting device that I use more and more compared to a static Cold frame these days. Take the Runner beans i planted out some 3 weeks ago into a bed pre warmed by cloches …. no hardening off in a cold frame and they are doing marvellously.  They are getting there roots into the soil they will stay in from the get go, and i can take the cloches away over a period of time thus introducing them to the unprotected environment where they have a root system strong and best able to support them selves.

Now i know its not posable to cover all things due to size and scale, (polly tunnels are perfect for that :-) )but i would suggest that the Humble Cloche is able to do a effective job when applied and possibly cutting out that intermediate stage between Greenhouse and open ground on more occasions than we tend to think off.

Long Live The Cloche .





18 Responses

  1. karenp says:

    Never thought about useing the cloche for runner beans :good: , do use it for the broadbeans though and to start of the lettuce with direct sowing, might just give that a go next year :yes:

  2. Very good, Simon. I have 2 runner beans through which I could plant out under a cloche (or empty 5 litre water bottles ;-) ) I suppose biggish seedlings like runner beans might be the best to do this with :unsure:

  3. bizzylizzy says:

    you only have to take a look at V-V ‘s lettuce under her posh ;-) glass cloche ‘s that have been out all winter it does make you think , and like you say they’re root’s get established where they are going to grow , but it has been a pretty mild spring with hardly any frost would your runners have stood much of a chance if we’d have had the frost we usually have :unsure: even under cloche’s :unsure: ,

    • SIMONDO says: they wouldn’t have been out so early .I still work with the years weather but i get a wriggle on as soon as i can. Mind you Lizzy..a light frost is no bother under glass just like in a cold frame or G house. :-)

  4. VegVamp says:

    Have to say this sounds very sensible Simon and something I have started to do without really thinking about it. I was lucky enough to be given those “posh cloches” (love it Lizzy, :rose: ) as they were being dumped! Yes, I know I didn’t believe it either. :wacko:

    It has taken me a little time to source clips for them, but now that I have those they are going to be used just the way you are talking about Simon. To warm soil, steal a week or two outside, and get those roots into the soil quicker. I’m hoping to make an earlier direct sowing of things like carrots and parsnips.

    Thank you Simon, this has given me much more “food for thought” as to what else I should be sowing direct with the help of cloches. :good:

    • SIMONDO says:

      That was a Monumental stroke of luck Karen ….Most envious as they are some cracking Cloches :yes:
      I remember dad and granddad using cloches a lot 40 yrs ago…hence the range and quality of the ones you rescued. :-)
      I use all sorts of old bits of glass and old windows/glass doors…works fine but those ones you have…. Drrrooooooooll or what !! :good:

  5. Beanstew says:

    I used to have a very large cold frame glazed with three double glazed windows which were a trial of strength to lift…My husband built it for me, and as it was also fitted with soil warming cables, it was a joy to work with. But at the time, we lived by the sea, and there were few frosts anyway. I also had a few old glass cloches, but I found that the glass tended to be a bit fragile, and I felt it wasn’t always a good idea with children running about – apart from the storage and cleaning of them. Now if I want to pre-heat the ground a bit, I tend to use cloche wires and 30gm fleece although I’m sure its not nearly so efficient. Another drawback is that light transmission isn’t so good, but afterwards I just pop the fleece in the WM, and fold up for staorage. I did put out runner beans early a couple of years ago, and they survived draped in fleece on cold nights.

  6. I now have cloches on my peas – what’s left of them!!! It seems the rabbit I saw last night might be the guilty one – grrr :cry:

  7. Palletman says:

    You’re all so organised, using cloches and cold-frames to get plants growing earlier.
    I must check the skips round here for some see-through material. At the moment, all I’m getting is pallets.

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