Plastic containers that are clear or opaque need little work to turn them into serviceable cloches. Milk jugs or juice bottles are commonly used by simply cutting off the bottom and setting the jug top over a plant.
A few of the plants that thrive under a cloche outdoors are carrots (Daucus carota), peas (Pisum sativum), parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and radishes (Raphanus sativus).
Attach the clear plastic sheeting to form the cover. Cut a piece of clear poly wide enough to cover the hoops and long enough so that is extends about 18” beyond each end of the cloche. Set the sheeting over the frame and fasten it to the hoops at each end with a few staples. Put a few staples into the ridge as well.
Chicken wire is too soft for wire stretchers; pulling it by hand is the best method of installation. Align one edge of the wire with your first fence post or the edge of the frame. Hammer poultry staples into the top, center and bottom of the fence. Use a staple gun to secure the area between the poultry staples.
Staple guns are used to fasten fabric and foam to wood in carpeting and upholstery projects. They are also used to fasten a number of materials around your house, such as fastening chicken wire to fence posts or fastening ceiling tiles, shingles, or weather stripping.
First, simply curve the corrugated plastic sheet over lengthways, creating a semi-circle shape above the ground where your seedlings will be planted. Then, slide the cloche hoops over the top of the sheeting and into the ground on both sides, holding the sheeting in place and forming a mini tunnel.
Allow good air ventilation by placing a small rock under one edge of the cloche. Or you can simply lift the cloche for a few minutes each day to clear any condensation that builds up on the glass. Keep your cloche-covered plants out of hot, direct sunlight. Your tender tropicals can’t take the heat.
You can protect your plants and fish from many garden pests with wire poultry netting, also known as chicken wire. This won’t fence out large animals such as raccoons and deer, but it is strong enough to keep out rabbits, birds and small rodents such as squirrels.
Just bolt them so the plate covers the edges of the wire. It would involve carefully drilling holes near the cut window, but would be 100% chew proof. Another way to get the same thing is “half round” decorative trim. It’s not chew proof, being wood, but is a little more forgiving and easier to work with.
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