Cloches and Cold Frames

Protect crops from pests and bring on their growth in cold weather by covering them with cloches or growing them in permanent cold frames.

Plastic Bottle Cloches 

Many plants benefit from protection in cool spring and fall weather. Commercial cloches can be expensive, so large, clear plastic bottles, cut in half and placed over plants, are an effective alternative.

Homemade Bottle Cloches are Cost Effective Switch

Homemade Bottle Cloches are Cost Effective Switch

PSC: LOW-RES PROOF REQ? = NO

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cold Frames 

Usually permanent structures of brick with framed glass "lights," cold frames are useful for hardening off young plants and extending the productive season of crops such as salads and zucchini. Constructed in a sheltered, sunny spot, they are a good alternative to a greenhouse in a small garden, with the angled lights allowing water to run off and the maximum amount of light to reach the plants. A frame with a hard base is suited to acclimatizing pot-grown plants to outdoor temperatures, while a bed of improved soil allows crops to be grown in the frame. Prop the lights open during the day to provide ventilation, and keep plants inside well watered.

Cold Frames Extend Growing Season of Young Plants

Cold Frames Extend Growing Season of Young Plants

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Corrugated Plastic Cloches 

Whole rows of plants can be covered using long, low tunnel cloches, which are left open at the ends for thorough ventilation or closed off when greater protection is required. No rain will reach cloched plants, so remember to water them as necessary.

Corrugated Plastic Tunnel Cloche Covers Entire Row

Corrugated Plastic Tunnel Cloche Covers Entire Row

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Rigid Plastic Cloches 

These large cloches are ideal for protecting blocks of young plants or more substantial crops, such as zucchini or early potatoes. The warm, dry atmosphere is also perfect for drying onion crops after harvest. Anchor these light structures to the ground.

Large Rigid Cloches Protect Blocks of Plants

Large Rigid Cloches Protect Blocks of Plants

Photo by: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening , 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep Reading

Next Up

Vegetable Garden Plans

Taking time to plan a vegetable garden before you plant can pay dividends throughout the season. Clever use of low rows and tall accent plants creates microclimates that different vegetables enjoy, as well as great visual effects.

To-Do List for Fall Gardening

October and November are good months to do some gardening and landscaping. Here are just a few things a gardener could -- or should -- be doing.

How to Use Gel Stain to Spruce Up Cabinets, Lamp Bases and More

Looking to update cabinets or wood furniture. Consider using gel stain, it has many advantages over traditional stain and won't cover the wood's natural grain like paint.

Tips for a Raised-Bed Vegetable Garden

Raised-bed vegetable gardening takes very little space and allows vegetables to be grown closer together.

Growing Food Through the Cold Season

Your garden doesn't have to stop producing just because the cold weather has arrived.

Choosing a Site for Your Vegetable Garden

Growing vegetables in ideal conditions is not always possible, particularly if you have limited space, but it pays to find a sunny spot that is sheltered from the wind and easily accessible for watering and weeding.

5 Ingredient Spring Skin Perk-Up

Spring is coming — banish your dry, winter-damaged skin with this all-natural bath soak recipe using ingredients from your pantry.

Combining Vegetables and Flowers in Your Garden

Small gardens need to look their best year round and usually have no room for a separate vegetable garden, but with a little imagination, vegetables can look striking alongside flowers and produce a tasty harvest, too.

How to Care for Lawn and Garden Tools

Get tips on keeping your garden tools rust-free, sharpened and mechanically sound.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.