Keeping things warm

Peas in a cloche

My peas are safe and sound, snug and cosy and will have a great start to life.

With spring starting tomorrow I can hardly contain my excitement.  The weather is settled and being kind.  Well if you don’t count the 48 hour period last week that delivered over three and a half inches of nonstop rain.  This freaked me out a little as I was on track to being the most spring ready I’d ever been and I was back to being flooded again.  But this weather event had the courtesy to be followed up by such strong winds it dried up all the rain in no time and I’m back on track and looking forward to a great spring season.

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE: STEP ONE . All you need is strong string, a sheet of corrugated clear roofing material (I used an affordable PVC) and a drill. You also may need scissors to cut the string.

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE: STEP TWO Mark out 100mm in from both ends on the bottom edge of the long sides and also in the middle of long side edge.

But as I review my notes and remember springs gone by, I am reminded that spring is the most tumultuous season there is.  It is unrestrained in its indecision and without so much as a moments notice will turn a almost summery feeling day into an icy bleak winter one, and then back again as though nothing untoward happened.

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE: STEP THREE After making sure all the marks line up evenly, carefully drill some holes.

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE: STEP FOUR. Thread your string through the hole and tie a knot so the string can’t slip back through. In hindsight I would suggest not cutting the end so short and leaving the tail beyond the knot with about 200mm of extra string.

For my tender burgeoning garden, that will be filled with the more hardly yet still vulnerable plants in these early spring days, this can be a tough time.  Take my peas for example.  Last spring, I recall having to sow my seeds more than once in order to get some plants to reach maturity.    Heavy rains would rot them in the ground before they had a chance to break through to the surface.  Heavy frosts would delay their progress and the birds just thought it was a great buffet and snipped away at the tasty tender growing tips.  They really didn’t stand a chance and I’m surprised I even managed to limp seedlings along to the flowering stage last year.  It was a real battle.

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE: STEP FIVE Cut the string off at the width of the sheet and thread the string through the holes.

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE: STEP SIX Evenly pull all of the strings through to make the sheet form an even arch. Tie knots to stop the string from slipping through and so it keeps the arch taut. Leave a tail beyond the knot of at least 200mm.

Well not this year.  I’ve taken things into my own hands and have created a cosy environment by making a handy row cloche for them to become established free from the unpredictability of the spring weather and sheltered from those greedy birds.

Voila - and there you have a cloche

Voila – and there you have a cloche

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE

HOW TO MAKE A CLOCHE: STEP SEVEN To secure to the garden to stop it blowing away. Take the extra string tails and tie them to landscape pegs and push it in to the soil as deep as you can.

 Once they seem strong enough to cope on their own and have established good roots and shoots, I’ll release them to experience the elements so they can grow tall and make me some peas.

This should keep my peas safe from harm while they establish themselves

This should keep my peas safe from harm while they establish themselves

Come again soon – spring is about to be sprung…

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

Advertisements

6 Comments on “Keeping things warm

  1. I have extra supports on the corners of the bed, about a foot higher than the rest of the wood construction. Over this I pull Agribon. This spring I also took a large pot with seedlings and covered it with the same fabric, but a double layer. Looked into it 4 weeks later after some snow, everything survived well. It also provide good shading against aggressive sun.

    Like

  2. Pingback: It’s all staged. | SARAH THE GARDENER

  3. Pingback: It’s a Pea Party! | SARAH THE GARDENER

Please feel free to leave a comment, I love hearing from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: