DIY, Cloche Covers
I was able to get my tomatoes planted in the garden and then the weather promptly turned cold. That can happen here in the northwest. We can go from 80 degrees weather in April to 50 degree weather in May, so I always have to be prepared when gardening here.
In the past I have used plastic to cover the whole raised bed. But this year that just wasn’t going to work as the peas are already as tall as I am. So I needed to cover each of the tomatoes plants individually.
Since my husband had a huge roll of plastic wrap on hand, that was leftover from another project. I wrapped each of the tomato cages in plastic to help keep the tomato plants a little warmer. Once the weather turns better I can simply just cut off the plastic and let them continue to grow.
I had a little trouble wrapping the cages, envision me in the garden with a tomato cage stuck in the ground trying to go around it as the cage tries to fall over. I am sure my neighbors got a good laugh at that. So as the rain started to come done on me I got the idea to have my kids help me spin the cages as I wrapped them. Having the kids help really worked so much better, too bad I didn’t think of it sooner. The plastic isn’t very attractive but will do for the short time it is needed.
I was almost done wrapping all of the cages when I ran out of plastic. I really thought there was enough plastic and I thought I had one more tomato cage. So I went with my original plan of using old milk or water jugs to cover the plants. I always keep a few plastic jugs on hand for covering plants this time of year. Just in case.
An old milk jug or gallon water jug works just great. I even have used the half-gallon size plastic jugs for smaller plants.
I just cut the bottom of the jug off. Be careful as you are cutting the bottoms off. I didn’t get my plastic jugs quite rinsed out well enough and some of the old milk remained in a few of my plastic containers and the smell was awful. Just awful.
I find that if I leave just a small lip on the bottom of the jug I can push it down into the dirt and it stays quite well.
Just place the prepared jug over the plants and then push some soil up around the container to help hold it in place. I actually placed my tomato cages around the jugs to help keep them from blowing over. But most of the time just building up the soil is good enough.
Then when a warm day comes along I take the top cap off to let the extra heat escape out the top. On the cooler days I just leave the top on. I also water the plant through the opening on top.
Then once the weather improves I just take the cloche cover off. But I always keep the homemade cloche covers until the weather is consistently warm for some time. Usually July as you just never know what the weather might do. 🙂
Where you live do you need to use cloche covers for your plants?
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