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Improvising, making, or sourcing DIY (do-it-yourself) garden cloches

 
gardener
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Location: Somewhere about 100 miles north east of Redding California
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I have used 5 gallon plastic buckets, when I have tomato plants ready to go outside, and then a late frost is coming... the kind the hardware stores sell, but I have an abundance because soap making oils come in them.  I also have same diameter but 7 gallon, they're just taller.  

When I put plants out that were started indoors, and I need to help them get used to arid high altitude sun, I cut the bottom out and put screen over, then if it'sgoing to be too cold,Iput whatever I have over the top  for the night.  This is a handy system when the wind is blowing too hard for them.

This year I will be putting them over direct seeded  curcubits,with the bottoms still in tact.  I can put a rock on top if it's windy.
 
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Love the reminder to observe and think about what’s going on. You sound like an experienced Permies! Thank you!
 
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Location: Wyoming Zone 4b 6000' elevation
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I use upside-down, glass lamp shades (like from chandeliers), as large as I can find them, from the thrift store to cover nearly everything I transplant out into the garden early, both as protection from the cold and mostly from spring winds. The frosted ones are best and onto the clear ones, I have (tediously!) sewn, using UV protected fishing line, a 40% sun block shade cloth. When I finally remove the shade-cloth-covered cloches, sometimes going from 40% sun blockage to 100% sun exposure at 6000' can still end up frying the plants!  
 
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Oh, I want to try this! I have more started tomato plants than I should plant already, but direct-seeded tomato plants sounds awesome!
 
pollinator
Posts: 236
Location: South-southeast Texas, technically the "Golden Crescent", zone 9a
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I think I've had a few tomatoes seedlings sprout inside the cloches, but I'm not sure.
This is my first year trying to grow tomatoes from seeds, so I'm very likely doing something wrong!



Howdy!
I realized earlier today, while I was trying to find good enough fencing to keep the local rodents from munching through my just planted today Sweet potato starts, that I have a pretty good number of those gallon jogs of wine, from when I had the lovely idea of somehow safety-ing the cut glass, attach a hinge or fastener or something, and turning them into little self-contained fairy gardens.
Turning them into cloches sounds like a much better idea!
Thank you so very much for giving me a great idea while I try to coax the slips into growing, and gets some large bottles out of the feed shed. Win-Win in my book.

Gardening, if done right, is a large science experiment with a cubic ton of variables. No matter what happens in the garden, you learned something.
Best thoughts.
 
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Much respect to Paul Wheaton, but I live in the Idaho mountains. You absolutely have to start plants on grow shelves. Cloches just aren't going to do it, not what with the wacky weather we get in March and April. Right now we have teens at night, 30's during the day, even though we were in the upper 60's last month. Snow predicted all week. Another issue I have is growing from seed in my greenhouse - too many slugs, earwigs, and sow bugs for plants to grow from seed. They'd get eaten before they had a chance. No way you'd get even one tomato, much less a winter squash, if you didn't start them early in the house. Our last frost date is supposed to be mid-May, but we almost always get a freak frost around the beginning of June. First frost is mid-September. Very short growing season.
 
gardener
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Location: N. California
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I also think it takes a little know how, a experimenting to start seeds in a cloche.  I have tried it unsuccessfully a couple of times.  Yet I got a bunch of volunteer tomatoes this year.???
 
That is a really big piece of pie for such a tiny ad:
3D Plans - Pebble Style Rocket Mass Heater
https://permies.com/wiki/193712/Plans-Pebble-Style-Rocket-Mass
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