Battening down the hatches, and the cloches …

Clever Andy makes these himself. All it requires is horticultural fleece, flexible water pipe and some bits of batten. He says the cheapest horticultural fleece is to be found in Slovakia, and I believe him, but I also suspect it’s only worth buying it if you were already planning a trip there for some other reason!

Cloches like this are valuable at this time of year (assuming they haven’t been blown away by the gale force winds) as they protect tender seedlings from wind and rain, frost and snow, cats that are looking for a toilet. In a few weeks time, impossible as it may seem now, the caterpillar, grub and worm infestation will begin, and the cloches again keep such annoying pests as caterpillars and cabbage root fly away from your favourite crops.

Also they are nice and lightweight which is important when you’re growing rotational crops that need to be covered, like cauliflower, which should never be grown two years running in the same soil. The point is that Andy’s cloches cost him pennies, while the kind you can buy in shops will definitely cost pounds – such a clever allotment holder!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, January 15, 2008

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