A cloche is a cover that is used to protect young plants. Usually they are transparent but sometimes they are made out of terracotta clay.
It’s a French word which means ‘bell’ which makes sense as many are a bell shape.
To pronounce cloche say ‘klosh’ so that it rhymes with posh.
Using a cloche is a great idea in winter or early spring when the night time temperatures become very cold and there is a risk of frost. These very cold temperatures can freeze and damage the leaves of seedlings or they might stunt their growth or perhaps even kill them.
In very cold countries, transparent cloches are often used on seedlings during the day and the night until they are strong enough to cope or once the weather starts to warm up. But, many parts of Australia can get quite warm during the day even in winter so a great idea is to put a cloche on the seedlings at night if you think the temperature is going to get below 10°C and then take it off in the morning before you go to school. It’s a bit like tucking them into bed every night.
Vegetable farmers often make cloches in a tunnel shape to protect rows of strawberries or young vegetable seedlings. If they are covered with plastic they will keep them warm in winter but if they are covered with shade cloth they will give the plants shade in summer.