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The best place to find all your allotment supplies

Cloches & Tunnels

Allotment Cloches & Growing Tunnels

Allotment crop protection covers two key protection types; from pests and the elements. A cloche, or covered tunnel, can be covered with two broad types of material, netting and sheeting. Netting is a material with holes designed to keeps out pests of varying sizes depending on the hole size.
Sheeting is a continuous sheet of material that not only keeps out pests but can provide other benefits against the elements. Both types are very popular ways to protect your crops from the seed to the harvest ready plant.
For taller plants we have Netting Support Stakes that are pushed into the ground around the area to be covered and joined together using canes or twine. A netting or fleece cover is then draped over the framework created. You can cover any size area to about 800mm high.

More about Cloches & Growing Tunnels

Cloches & Growing Tunnels - A worthwhile investment

The word cloche is derived from French and means bell, this has been translated into cloche hats, bell cloches for plants, and covers for food amongst others. On the plot the cloche is an intermixed term for a covered tunnel.

Cloches / growing tunnels come in two types, pre-made or flexible, pre-made have the hoops already fixed to the covering over a fixed length and are stretched out to cover the plot. Flexible cloches area made up of separate hoops over which you can put any type of covering. This approach allows for a cloche of any length and the covering can be changed as required, film, fleece or net. fixing the covering to the hoops is a matter of choice, cable ties, pegs, string etc.

Hoop Materials
The traditional support structure is either plastic or metal hoops over which is stretched the material. Plastic hoops are either solid plastic or tubular plastic, made very popular by Geoff Hamilton who advocated plastic water pipe for the hoops. Tubular plastic has one property that can create problems, is softens when heated, so over a hot summer the pipe can bend, twist or distort. Solid plastic or steel hoops do not have this problem. One of the latest types is a fibreglass hoop that is 'pop-up' where the fibreglass hoop has a 'memory' and can be compressed for storage but 'pops up' when released. The GardenGuard range is this type of system and also has extension units so although being pre-made it is extendable to any length.

Hoop Coverings
Sheeting:- Clear film is very popular covering as it creates a warm micro-climate inside the cloche that either warms the bare soil in early season, warms the soil to improve seed germination of keeps planta that need extra heat warm. Watering has be done either from the end with a hose pipe of the film cover removed to allow the water to the crops.
Fleece:- A very popular and versatile covering as it provides the benefits of the micro-climate and allows water through without it being removed.
Netting:- Netting comes in many shapes and sizes from anti-bird where the holes in the net are quite big, down to ultra-fine netting for very small flying insects.

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