Garden Cloche

I was recently in a home decorating store in Fairhope, AL.  The store’s merchandise was antique-y yet rustic.  Some old barn planks nailed together made up one dining room table, a sideboard looked like it was left in the rain (although it was beautiful).  They had other more classic antique items that were highly polished in addition to accessories.

One accessory was a garden cloche.  It looked like a huge, glass cake dome without the plate.  I found a few of them in different sizes, thicknesses and quality.  Some had air bubbles in the glass.

Garden Cloches are used as little hot houses on individual plants.  It’s a way to get seedlings started in the spring and protected from frost in spring and fall.  Under the glass, the ground can heat up from the sunlight above, cause condensation and provide moisture inside for the plant. 

Cloches are also used to protect plants from birds, insects and pesty squirrels.  There are open cloches made of bamboo, wire or other materials that provide air to the plant but keeps it safe from critters, although stink bugs and worms can still find their way in.  Sometimes these cloches make up a climbing space for vining plants.

For larger spaces (and lower budgets) a cold frame does the same thing a glass cloche does for plants in the winter and early spring.

You don’t need to go out and purchase an expensive garden cloche.  The one I found was $360.00.  You can make your own.  Do you drink soda?  When the the bottle is empty simply cut off the bottom so it’s straight and place it over your plants or seedlings.  Use it over plants in the ground or cover a small pot of seedlings or herbs.  You can leave the cap on or take it off.  I’ve used this type of cloche to protect my brussels sprouts from deer.  With the cap off, rain was able to find its way to the plant.  I’ve since solved the deer problem but these soda bottle cloches helped and I have kept them in case we have a frost.

For more visual information on cloches and homemade soda bottle cloches check out my pinterest page titled “Garden/Outside”.

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