One of the most important things to remember when you are gardening is to make sure that your plants are well looked after and protected. There are lots of things that can effect how well your plants grow – cold weather, frost, heavy rain and even bugs! The more you can do to prevent your plants being damaged the better.
But how can I protect my plants?
It’s simple! You can make your very own ‘Cloche’!
OK, but what exactly is a Cloche?
A Cloche is something used as a cover and placed over plants.
Cloche’s act like mini-greenhouses – they collect warmth from the sun during the day which warms the soil and keeps it warm at night. This is how Cloche’s stop plants getting too cold when the temperature falls at night time. Clever eh?!
That is clever! So how do I make my own Cloche?
The best way to make your own Cloche is to reuse any recycled glass or plastic jars and bottles that you may have. Using something that is see-through is important because the soil under the Cloche needs light to help the plant grow.
I used an empty jam jar, a plastic cup, an empty bottle of squash and an empty bottle of water. I thought I would try different ideas see which worked the best. Keep a look out for see-through containers that could be recycled.
Making your Cloche:
1. Wash and remove any labels.
If you are using jars or cups that already have an open end then you can go to the next stage – ‘Prepare Your Garden’. If you are using a plastic bottle you have just one more thing to do before it is ready for the garden.
2. When you have washed and dried your bottle, you will need to get yourself a Grown-Up who can cut off the top with scissors.
Prepare Your Garden:
3. Now you’re ready to get planting! Make sure the soil is loose using a trowel or fork.
4. Next, place your Cloche’s upside and push them down into the soil so that you have made a circle mark – this is the area that you will plant your seeds in!
Plant Your Seeds:
5. Pour a few of your chosen seeds into the palm of your hand so that you don’t have too many all in one go. Scatter them all over the circle and cover with a half centimetre layer of soil and firm down with your hand. If the soil is dry give them a sprinkle of water.
6. Finally, place your home-made Cloche’s back over the circle and push down hard so that they are firmly in the ground. Now your seeds will be nice and snug and ready to start growing!
Remember: Your seeds will still need plenty of water to stop the soil drying out.
If you don’t make a cloche many seeds can be started off in a pot on a sunny windowsill.
Don’t forget to send us a picture of your homemade cloches! You can write to us at: Seed H.Q, Studio 013, Netil House, 1a Westgate Street, London E8 3RL. Or you can email us here.