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Homemade cloches for gardens

Updated February 21, 2017

The garden cloche originally was a French invention. These glass bell jars, when placed over plants in early spring, protected them from late and sudden frost. Since their invention, cloches have been readily employed by gardeners eager to extend the growing season. And cloches no longer are restricted to glass. Paper, fibreglass and plastic are used to create these jars. Make your own cloches by recycling plastic gallon milk containers. Their removable caps allow you to vent heat during the day and provide insulation at night.

Add 2 tbsp bleach to an empty milk jug.

Fill the milk jug halfway with warm water.

Place the cap on the jug and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds.

Pour the bleach solution out of the jug.

Rinse the milk jug with water three times.

Cut off the bottom of the milk jug. Lay it on its side on a cutting board. Use a large, serrated knife to cut off the very bottom.

Brush off any shredded plastic and discard the bottom.

Place the open bottom of the milk container over the plant so that the plant is in the centre of the jug. Press the container down so that it sits securely in the soil.

Take the cap off to allow warm air to escape during the day. Replace it before the sun goes down to keep the plant insulated at night.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic gallon milk jug with cap
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Knife
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About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.