For the keen gardeners among us, there are few things more frustrating than seeing your plants and vegetables ruined by the weather or those pesky pests.
But fear not, for there is a simple solution at hand!
A cloche – the French word for ‘bell’ – could help your garden thrive and here at Premier Polytunnels we have a range of garden cloches to suit your needs.
Acting as a cover for plants or vegetables, the very earliest models were initially made of glass but now there are many different types, including polythene cloches or shade net cloches. But what are the benefits and why should you be using them? Read on to find out.
Portability is key
A cloche is a mini polytunnel. Larger structures such as garden polytunnels and greenhouses are great for growing flowers on a larger scale, but what if the plants you’re looking to protect only take up a very small area?
That’s where the garden cloche comes in. Consisting of a robust steel frame, usually with a polythene or net covering, they are easy to move around to suit your needs, meaning you can quickly and efficiently cover your beds if, for example, it looks like that famously unpredictable UK weather is about to take a turn for the worse. Speaking of which...
Protect your plants, whatever the weather
Gardening in the UK can prove especially tricky when you factor in the massively changeable conditions. What would normally be a chilly October day can sometimes turn out to be a scorcher, while the supposedly glorious summer months can occasionally prove a real damp squib.
Heavy rain or hail can really damage your plants, so using a cloche as a shelter from any such precipitation could allow your garden to flourish. Similarly, they ensure protection from strong winds. You could also read The Royal Horticultural Society’s useful advice on hardening off - a process which allows young plants to adapt to harsher outdoor conditions.
Keep those pests at bay
Including a garden cloche on your patch should also reduce the risk of your plants becoming affected or damaged by birds, insects or diseases.
As a physical obstacle, any potentially harmful wildlife will be unable to reach your crops – ensuring that you’ll be the only one eating your produce! At Premier Polytunnels we offer a range of anti-bird net cloches and it’s also worth considering meshing to guard against those pesky insects.
Whichever type of cloche you choose, it’s important to bear in mind adequate ventilation, which will reduce humidity and protect against air-borne infections.
Turn up the heat and extend your seasons
If you’re battling against inclement weather conditions, being able to prolong your cropping season can be a real boost. Your mini polytunnel can help raise the soil temperature and, if you have it in place a few days before planting, you should reap the rewards in the form of quicker germination, increased air temperatures and reduced heat loss in the evenings.
If done right, raising soil temperatures with your garden cloche – especially good for the likes of carrots, broad beans and lettuce – can extend your cropping season at either end, affording you more time to cultivate your plants and maximise the productivity of your patch.
If it’s versatility you’re after in a cloche, why not plump for Premier Polytunnels’ individual hoops, which can be covered with the material of your choice – be it netting, clear polythene, or even black polythene, which can be useful in increasing the flavour of leafy salads by denying them light for a few weeks.
With your mini polytunnel in place, you can ensure your plants and produce are protected, leaving you to reap the rewards.