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Garden Cloches 101

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There are a bunch of different types of garden cloches.  There are different sizes depending on your garden size and different materials used.  All gardens are different and located in different zones so it’s hard to say that one is the best.  Some people have small container gardens on their patio and others have large lots that are the size of an entire backyard.  So the type of garden cloche really depends on your garden and needs.  This is a breakdown of some of the more common garden cloches.

Plastic Garden Cloche
The plastic garden cloche originated from the glass cloche.  It is a more modern model compared to the glass cloche.  They are made from light weight plastic that is much more forgiving when accidentally dropped or knocked over.  Because they do not have the weight like glass to keep them secured to the soil, plastic cloches come with steel pegs that keep them from moving.  One of the biggest advantages of plastic cloches are their built in air vents.  These are adjustable vents that allow for air circulation so the plant does not over heat.  

 

Poly Tunnel Cloche
Poly tunnel cloches are typically used from larger gardens that require the entire row of plants to be protected from the elements.  These are more involved to install, but create an excellent environment for the plants to thrive and keep them from harmful weather and animals.  A frame is made of wood or metal is constructed first and then covered with polyethylene.  This provides good insulation and creates a green house like environment.  

 

Tunnel Cloche
The tunnel cloche in some ways is a mix of the plastic garden cloche and the poly tunnel cloches.  Though not as large as the poly tunnel cloche, the tunnel cloche does take the tunnel shape and can be made of either plastic, PVC or acrylic.  They’re a functional tool for covering multiple plants or small rows.  Like the plastic garden cloche, they also feature an adjustable air vent.  They’re ideal for leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, bak choy, etc.

 

Cold Frame
Cold frames are much like boxes that you can put over your plants or to put your potted plants in.  They come in various sizes and like all the other cloches have a purpose of protecting plants from frost and keeping them warm.  They do not have air vents, so it is important to either open the top during the day or to take the plants out completely.  They are larger and pretty bulky as they’re not really meant to be moved around too much.  They would work well for people who have container gardens or have their garden in pots on a patio.