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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Monday, 16 March 2009

A home-made cloche... to avoid a late frost (hopefully!)

Since the sun's been shining, and there's not been that strong northerly breeze that can often make it feel wintry, even in mid-March, we have made the most of the opportunity to get out into the garden.

As I've mentioned, Beth is already preparing potatoes for planting out in big black buckets, but since it's definitely the time of year for sowing, we thought we'd make a start on preparing the main raised bed, the upper flowerbed and the two large tubs for the growing season.

We took a trip to Wilkinsons to buy compost and some other bits and pieces; our plan was to create our own home-made version of a cloche to prevent any last-minute frost from damaging our seedlings.

This was, in the end, fairly easily achieved. We bought a large dust-sheet which, folded in half, reached perfectly from one end of the bed to the other. I then re-inforced parts of it with gaffer tape, and then cut up some old wire clothes hangers to hook the sheet top and bottom to create a triangle profile. With a little more plastic to cover the sides, the cloche seemed to take shape, and I'm hoping that the wind won't blow it away! The wire anchor points are easy to remove for watering, so it's only really slugs that we'll have to deal with over the next month or so. That's the theory, anyway!

Here's a photo of the the completed cloche, under which we've planted broad beans (hence the netting you might be able to see at the back), parsnips and onions so far. We also used coat-hangers and plastic sheeting to cover the upper bed - this time with more of a curved profile. I'm hoping to do another diagram to show what's going where. We're hoping for a much better yield this year! As always, we'll be continuing to listen to our friend Emma's wonderful Alternative Kitchen Garden podcast for more ideas and inspiration!

Our home-made cloche

Posted by james at March 16, 2009 5:02 PM


 
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