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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recycle plastics, glass, and other materials for creating cloches. Cloches are any type of covering that protects plants from snow, cold temperatures, and "pests". This method ensures to protect your plant from dying when growing fruits and vegetables early in Spring, or when extending the growing season into Fall and Winter. Cloches that are bell or tent shaped allow room for individual plants, while Polytunnels or elongated plastic coverings are good for long rows of plants.

Instead of buying cloches, make your own using jugs. Cut the bottoms of the jugs to go over the top of plants, and remove lids to allow air flow.

photo link Inhabitat

Maybe you have items around your home that you're not using, for example wicker baskets.
It would be interesting to use old clothes baskets as well.

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Cloches may only be necessary when the plants are young. As soon as they outgrow the cloches you have provided as their covering, it may already be warm enough without the need for protection. If it is necessary to protect large plants say to extend their growing season, you will need larger coverings,for example cold frames.
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Mother Earth News

As long as your days are warm, you do not need to cover your plants; but if the nights are too cold, cover your plants with anything you have on hand like a thin blanket, canvas, terracotta pot, plastic flower pot, storage tub, or any containers
. My grandmother uses thin blankets to cover her rose bushes. It is not totally necessary to have transparent plastic or glass to cover plants. Plants can be completing shaded by the container at night; as long as you uncover the plant in the morning for sunlight.
If the plant is large and well established, you could even use a trash bag to cover at night.


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from It's About Time

Store bought cloches can cost up to $40 at stores like Lowes. In the photo below, this gardener is very resourceful as they have saved or collected items that would have otherwise been thrown in a landfill, and they are using free materials.
Most gardeners prefer bottle shaped cloches because they're elongated, perfect for young plants. You could also save your plastic container boxes when you buy strawberries, blueberries, spinach, greens, and dates from the store.
Renaissance Little Green Book INCH BY INCH, ROW BY ROW by Vertical gardener

Be creative, as you may have materials that you would consider junk or trash that could be used to protect plants. Perhaps an old window, door, or old refrigerator shelves.

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Of course Greenhouses and polytunnels are ideal for early planting and extending the growing season. These options may cost you, but again you can always make your own greenhouse or polytunnel out of free materials. Many people have constructed greenhouses using recycled (free) materials, which I have show you, here: Construct a greenhouse using Free Supplies.

Original post @ Cloches plant protection (early planting & extend growing season)

-Cassie K
 

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That's a great idea for winter time :)

I think my mum wraps plants up in bubble wrap when it's frosty...
 
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