The Q&A Archives: Cloches

Question: What are Cloches?

Answer: The term cloche applies to a broad range of plant covers that allow light to penetrate, but protect plants from frost. The first cloches were probably glass jars set upside-down on seedlings to protect them at night, and removed during the day (otherwise the plant inside would cook on a sunny day!). Now several types of cloches are available to help gardeners extend the season. There are paper 'hot caps', plastic jugs, fiberglass tunnels, and a commercially available 'Wall-of-Water' that is made of two thicknesses of plastic. Water is poured into the channels between the inside and outside layers, which collects and stores the heat during the day and then releases it slowly, to provide a greenhouse effect around a plant. Hope this information helps.

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