8°C / 46°F
A handy thing I learnt from people on our allotment is the DIY Cloche / netting, ie those tunnel things you see on allotments. Unfortunately for me I didn’t learn it until after I’d bought a number of expensive cloches from a shop or two.
- Buy some water pipe from a hardware / DIY shop e.g. Wickes
- cut this into lengths (I used secateurs, but a stanley knife or tough scissors would do) wide enough to form a 1-2ft high semi circle arc across the row you want to cover
- Buy 2m x 50m+ of garden fleece, plastic sheeting or netting (depending on your needs), ebay is good for this in bulk
- stick the ends of the pipes in the soil to make a semi circle, do this a number of times to make a tunnel over the row, each support 4ft apart or so.
- Drape the material over the tunnel and tie at the ends, or make a draw string if your wanting a neat effect.
- Buy some ground cover pegs and peg down along the length (about every 5ft depending on wind conditions).
This is great for creating insect-protected micro-climates with fleece, where plants grow really well in my experience (better still if its over a raised bed).
It may seem an expensive outlay to start with, but it massively cheaper than the commerial alternatives, and you can make loads, and you can use them year on year.