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Horticulture 1000
HT1102 - Plant management 2 - Make a cloche
Protective structures Controlled environments

Make a cloche

You planted some nasturtium plants in peat pots in HT1101 Activity 2.

To provide the seedlings with some protection from cold temperatures, wind and pests, you are going to make several individual cloches or one large cloche for your plants. You can choose which cloche you will make.

First find a suitable garden space for your nasturtium seedlings. They need a warm, sheltered position with reasonably well-drained soil. Cultivate your soil in preparation for transplanting your nasturtium seedlings.

Transplant your nasturtium seedlingsTransplant your nasturtium seedlings.

Transplant your nasturtium seedlings when they are approximately 6 cm high. Revise how to transplant plants or contact your teacher if you need guidance.

If your plants are not big enough, prepare the soil and cloches. Plant the nasturtium later when they are the correct size. If soil and air temperatures are below 2°C then wait until the soil temperatures warm up closer to spring, before transplanting the nasturtium. Nasturtium will die in temperatures below 2°C.


What to do

If possible, make the plastic tunnel cloche. If  you haven’t got the materials, then make simple bottle cloches.

You  will need:

Plastic tunnel cloche


Simple bottle clochesSimple bottle cloches.
Simple bottle cloches

4 plastic bottles, for example a two-litre soft drink or milk bottle.


Make  either

1. Plastic  tunnel cloche

Make some wire hoops from one metre lengths of wireMake some wire hoops from one metre lengths of wire.
  • Make some wire hoops from one metre lengths of wire.
  • Push both ends of the wire hoops into the ground about 20 cm apart at one metre intervals. Have at least two wires and not more than four.
  • Put the wires over existing seedlings if you wish.
Pull plastic over the wire hoopsPull plastic over the wire hoops.
  • Hammer a wooden peg into the ground about one metre out from each end of outside wires.
  • Cut the plastic sheet to 750 mm wide and the length between the peg and the wire.
  • Put a knot in the plastic at each end. Tie one end securely to the peg using some twine.
  • Pull the plastic over the wire hoops and tie the other knot tightly to the other peg with more twine.
Tie twine to the wire to hold the plastic downTie twine to the wire to hold the plastic down.
  • Tie a piece of twine to the base of one of the end wires. Pull it diagonally across the plastic and loop it around the base of the next wire on the other side.
  • Carry on until you finish up on the last wire and tie the twine off. This will stop the plastic lifting off in strong winds.
Heap some soil along the edgesHeap some soil along the edges.
  • Heap some soil along the edges of the plastic to hold it down on the ground.

2. A simple  cloche

Cut the top off a 2L bottleCut the top off a 2L bottle.
  • Take the two litre bottle and cut off the top of the bottle so it is about 20 cm tall. Do this carefully using a pair of scissors.
  • Take the lids off the bottles.
Use a stick top hold the bottle in placeUse a stick top hold the bottle in place.
  • With the milk container you can cut a V-shaped slit in the top of the handle.
  • When you are ready to use your cloche put the bottle over each plant and push a straight stick through the handle and into the ground deeply enough to firmly anchor the bottle in the soil. Be sure to leave the caps off the bottle.
Place each bottle over individual plantsPlace each bottle over individual plants.
  • Place the two litre soft drink bottle cloches over individual plants. You may need to put some soil around the base of the cloche so it doesn’t blow away.

In your diary:

Send in your diary with your workbook.

Complete Activity 7A in your workbook

Key points   Key points

  • Protective structures provide a controlled environment for growing plants.
  • Protective structures can control temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, light and water.
  • Some protective structures are greenhouses, tunnel houses, cloches and shade houses.

What's next?

Go to: 8 Controlled environments.

Protective structures Controlled environments