A cloche is a cover that protects your seedlings from very cold weather in in winter or early spring. Find out more in our Garden Glossary.
There are lots of ways that you can make a cloche at home or at school to protect your plants from the cold weather at night. Here are just a few but you might even come up with some better ideas yourself.
A bottle cloche is the perfect way to recycle large plastic cool drink or juice bottles. Remove the lid and give it a good wash then ask mum or dad to cut the bottom off the bottle. Place the cloche over the seedling and push it firmly into the ground. Put a thin bamboo stake through the hole in the top to hold it in place.
To make a cloche tunnel, just use old hula hoops cut in half, thick wire or black reticulation pipe to make the frame. Push these into the ground really firmly. Then, get a long bamboo stake and use string or wire to attach it like a spine down the middle of the hoops to hold them together. Spread the plastic or cloth over the frame so that it forms a tunnel and use wire or cable ties to attach it. Hold the plastic down on the side of the tunnel with bricks or dig a shallow trench the full length and then bury the plastic into the ground.
Other types of cloches can be bought from the hardware store such as this one though they are often called ‘cold frames’. These are really handy because they can be folded up when they are not needed and stored in the garden shed.