Glass Cloches

glass clochesWhen my “city-slicker” godfather saw the rows of glass cloches in our garden, he wondered why we were growing “hats.”

Previously I talked about how to build a cold frame (read it here if you missed it) and its benefits for extending the growing season and hardening off seedlings. If you only have a few plants and want something with even less work, consider using cloches. Glass cloches, so named for their resemblance to the hats made popular by women in the twenties, are a very easy alternative to a conventional greenhouse or cold frame.

You use glass cloches by placing the glass dome over newly planted seeds or transplants. It creates a mini-greenhouse around your plant, giving it plenty of sun and keeping it warm to help speed up the growth of the plant. It can also keep your seeds from getting washed away if you get a sudden downpour. However, you will have to water under the cloches to be sure your plants don’t dehydrate.

Glass cloches are lightweight, so they can be used very easily without a lot of strength required. As such, they’re also quite mobile which allows you to reuse them at different places all over your garden.

In order to give your plants air, take the glass cloches off your plants for a few hours while the sun is out. This will prevent the heat from building up too much under your cloches and cooking your plants. Put the cloches back over your plants a couple hours before sunset to ensure your plants don’t get too cold.

As an alternative to commercial glass cloches, you can make your own out of clear glass (or even heavy plastic) bowls or other containers. Just be sure to weight them down if you’re using plastic so they don’t blow away.

Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf

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