Okay, just because fall's cold weather is here doesn't mean it's time to put away those garden tools. Make your own cloches from these easy-to-find recyclable materials and you'll do your part for sustainable, local gardening!
How to Make Your Own Garden Cloches
Making your own cloches (or bell jars, as some folks call them) is easy. Basically, all you really need to do is make (or find) something that's:
- Big enough to cover whatever it is you're growing
- Easy to put a hole in, or already has a hole (for venting)
- Is sturdy enough to survive winter cold and water
Don't Toss It! Recycle It to Make Your Own Cloches
These DIY cloches are easy (and cheap!) to make, plus they reduce your carbon footprint by recycling materials that might otherwise end up in landfills.
- If you're hoping for something a little prettier than plastic milk jugs in your winter garden, DIY and make your own cloches from old ceiling fixtures. It may sound strange, but those old-timey glass ceiling fixtures (the round ones, with screws on the bottom), make pretty cloches that you don't have to do anything to. Just take off the screws and put the fixtures on the ground over your low-growing crops. That's it: you're ready to go. Plus, they're not too hard to find at flea markets, rummage sales and on Craigslist.
- They may not be all that pretty, but DIY cloches made from milk jugs and soda bottles are super handy and easy to make. The plastic is malleable enough that you can cut it to spec, each already has a hole (with a cap!) that makes controlling the air temperature easier, and each has a handle (so they're easy to move and use). If you're all about keeping your winter garden productive so that you can grow your own food all winter long, make your own cloches from milk jugs and soda bottles — you can't go wrong.
- Just because your blender (or your grandmother's, depending on how nitty-gritty thrifty you are) doesn't frappe the way it did back in the day doesn't mean that you can't still use it. Just like making your own cloches from milk jugs, making a bell jar from a blender is basically as easy as taking off the bottom and flipping it over. It's glass so it'll last forever, it has that handy handle, and it's one less thing in a landfill. Bonus points: If it actually still works, there's no reason it can't do double duty and be your smoothie maker in the summer.
How do you make your own cloches? What else do you recycle in your garden?
(Images graciously provided by scottsnyde, 4score and Gizmo1408. Thank you!)