Wednesday , November 14 2018
transparent cloche image

Build a Cloche

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If you will build your cloche correctly then it should be quite easy to lift up the plastic on either side and tie it loosely at the top to gain access to your beds so you can harvest crops or for general maintenance. If you must position the cloche on a windy site then is better to place it so that one end faces into wind, this will offer a smaller surface area to the wind and it will be much easier to reinforce than the sides along the length of the row cover.

For areas that become very hot and sunny over the summer periods it is better to use opaque plastic cover for your cloche rather than clear plastic one, because this will reduce the chances of plants being scorched by the bright sunlight.

For building your cloche you will need the following tools: 1 workbench, 1 pair of pliers, 2 guidelines, 1 hammer and 1 spade and the following materials: 240 cm length of heavy-gauge galvanized wire, broom handle, 2 wooden battens, nails, plastic cover and plastic cord nonrotting kind. The most expensive material will be the wire but it will last for up to 20 years, wile the plastic cover will only last about 2-3 seasons.

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Cut an 240 cm length of heavy galvanized wire to make the hoops. Grip a section of broom handle between the jaws of the workbench with 10 cm rising above the bench top. Wrap the wire once around the handle to form a loop, leaving a 30 cm leg. Turn the wire over and repeat on the other end to produce a length of wire with 2 loops close to each end.

Prepare the cloche bed by laying 2 parallel guidelines 90 cm apart in order to mark the edges of the beds and keep them straight. After the beds have been cultivated push the wire hoops in close to the guidelines, spaced about 90 cm apart along the bed. Push the legs into the ground so that the loops are at soil level. At each end of the bed drive a length of wooden batten into the soil, level with the top of the end hoops and nail the hoop to the batten.

When the hoops are in position place the plastic cover over them carefully. Stretch the plastic tightly over the hoops and tie it to the loops with plastic cord. Secure the ends of the plastic by burying the ends in the soil about 30 cm deep.

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Make a pebble fountain

If you do not have enough space in your garden to make a pond you can still have a small water feature, like a pebble fountain. There is always space for a small water feature like this in any garden and is a project that can be done in weekend afternoon.

Chose the place where you want the pebble fountain to be and mark out the diameter of the reservoir. Dig a hole slightly wider and deeper than the reservoir dimensions and place a shallow layer of sand at the bottom of the hole, making sure that the reservoir rim is slightly below the level of the surrounding soil so that the water drains naturally into it.

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