A cloche is basically a small and very simple cold frame. You can make your own cloche out of whatever you think might let sunlight through, provide protection for the plants and offer reasonable convenience for the hard working gardener.
I’ve used clear plastic tarps, soda bottles, water bottles and even plastic glasses. They all work well for specific applications. Most of the small ones are good for seedlings. Clear plastic tarps work well for beds and larger plantings. What can be used for taller plants that you might want to single out?
This is exactly what I want to address in this discussion. Sometimes your ingenuity can help you discover applications for things that you might not normally consider. I use half barrels as raised beds for some of my vegetables. I find them to be convenient, easy to make and very useful, especially for plants like peppers, eggplant and tomatoes that grow up tall in a small area.
My challenge was to find a cloche that would fit the barrels. Perhaps you could make your own cloche to fit the barrels, but making something round and tall would appear to be quite a challenge. So, I started thinking about alternatives that might be well suited to the steel barrels.
I’m not too familiar with barrel related products, but I recall there being barrel liners, so I went on an investigative mission to find clear barrel liners.
Lo and behold, there they were, offered by several manufacturers. And, it didn’t take long for me to have a nice set of them for my own use in the greenhouse garden #1. They’re not UV protected, but they ought to serve me well for several winter seasons, offering me a greenhouse within a greenhouse for tall individual plants. And, as you can see, they work just fine to cover a plant in a wide bed as well.
Clair Schwan is an avid vegetable gardener who considers his gardens to be important assets. To him, vegetables in the garden are a bit like money in the bank.