Gardeners sometimes use chase barn cloches to extend the growing time of plants. The glass or plastic cloche covers plants so they can retain heat and won't get damaged by frost. Gardeners often use larger greenhouses, cold frames and polytunnels to keep large areas of plants warmer for longer, but cloches are ideal for small plants. Chase barn cloches are traditionally made out of glass panes held together by wire, but you can also make them from sheet plastic or even cling film.
Construct a wood frame and cover it with cling film. Use lollipop sticks and wood glue. Start with a rectangular foundation. Build up four side walls, and then create the top plate. Drape cling film over the frame in both directions. Keep the gaps in the corners for ventilation. This is closest to the original chase barn cloche style without using glass.
Attach small glass panels to crafted wire to construct a real chase barn cloche. Carefully wrap a piece of flexible wire around the vertical and horizontal edges of the glass panels. The wire must be flat and tight.
Extend the wire at the ends so there is an excess of 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) wire. You will use this extra wire to connect the glass panels to each other.
Place a bead of epoxy resin glue under all the wire so it sticks to the glass. Let it dry completely.
Twist the wire ends together on the glass panels to construct a barn shape. You will have a bottom, four sides and two panels for the top. Construct them into a barn shape and secure them by twisting the wire ends tightly together.
Attach the two roof panels securely at the top edge. It is OK if they hang over the sides as long as the top is tightly secured.
Ventilating your plants during the day is ideal, but at night when the temperatures drop, the plants need full protection. Prop the cloche up during the day and lower it at night.
If you are using an object as a cloche which doesn't have much ventilation, be careful that the plant underneath doesn't get to hot.
Make sure you allow the glue to dry completely before constructing your barn cloche.
Tips and warnings
- If you are using an object as a cloche which doesn't have much ventilation, be careful that the plant underneath doesn't get to hot.
- Make sure you allow the glue to dry completely before constructing your barn cloche.