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Get your cloches ready

1 April 2014
Get your cloches ready

Get your cloches ready to provide a little extra protection this month, as the weather can still be unpredictable and with vulnerable veg seedlings just planted out it can really catch you on the hop.

Choose from a simple to use polythene cloche you can just concertina out over your plants whenever you need it, or one of our more sophisticated range of longrow and barn cloches in durable clear plastic. They can be a godsend in a sharp frost, keeping out biting winds and raising temperatures underneath by a couple of degrees – the difference between life and death on a freezing night.

You can use cloches at other times of year too: in early summer they give tender seedlings like courgettes a cosier start to life outside, and they're also invaluable in autumn to keep crops like parsley and salad greens pickable for longer.

Sink the hoops into the ground securely at regular intervals over your plants and if you're using polythene, keep it as taut as possible: burying the edges or weighting them with bricks stops the covers blowing away. Close the ends at night but open them on warmer days to allow ventilation, and don't forget to water and protect from slugs.