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

Protective structures

Protective structures provide a controlled environment for growing plants.

All the following factors can be controlled:

The structures also provide protection from storms, hail, wind, rain damage, droughts, extremes of heat and cold, and frosts.

Commercial orchids are grown indoors at a temperature above 16 degreesCommercial orchids are grown indoors at a temperature above 16 degrees Celcius.

In a controlled environment the inside of the structure can be changed to suit the crop grown.

Structures can be used to grow plants that would not naturally grow in the area. They can also help growers to grow crops out of season. This means they can produce flowers, vegetables or fruit earlier or later than normal in outside conditions.


Types of structures

The best type of structure to use will depend on the:


Greenhouses are very expensive and glass or plastic can be damagedGreenhouses are very expensive and glass or plastic can be damaged.

Greenhouses collect heat from the sun or are artificially heated. Greenhouses may be covered with glass, polythene, polycarbonate or other types of plastic. These materials are supported on strong steel, aluminium or wooden frames. Polythene is much cheaper than the other coverings but doesn’t last as well, because it can be broken down by sunlight. Greenhouses are used to grow plants out of season and to increase the range of plants that can be grown. They are also used in plant propagation.


Tunnel house

Another type of greenhouse is a tunnel houseAnother type of greenhouse is a tunnel house.

This is another type of greenhouse used by commercial growers. They are made from a sheet of clear polythene stretched over a frame. Ventilation is provided with a fan system, or the sides can be rolled up.



A clocheA cloche made of plastic.

A cloche is a low structure used to cover plants growing outside. Cloches provide plants with extra warmth and protection from frost and shelter from wind, rain and hail. Cloches can be made out of different materials such as polythene stretched over wire hoops or they can be as simple as an old plastic drink bottle.



Plant nursery crop in a shadehousePlant nursery crop in a shadehouse.

A shadehouse is covered with shade cloth. It gives the plant protection from bright sunlight and wind.

These structures are used for growing shade-loving plants like ferns and orchids, and for hardening off seedlings before they are planted outdoors.


Activity 6A Complete the table below by using the following information.

First, drag the name of the protective structure that will be best for plants growing in the situations described in the table below. Use each structure only once.

Next, drag the statement that describes how the structure will help the plant grow successfully into column 3.


What's next?

Go to: 7 Make a cloche.

Shelter Make a cloche