Last updated: May 12, 2021

What Does Cloche Mean?

A cloche is a bell-shaped glass cover that is placed over a seedling in the early planting season to protect the seedling from cold temperatures and to encourage growth. It is a type of covering for protecting plants from cold temperatures.

While the original form of a cloche is a bell-shaped glass cover that is placed over an individual plant, modern cloches are usually made from plastic and come in various shapes and sizes.

The use of cloches can be traced back to market gardens in 19th century France, where entire fields of plants would be protected with cloches. However, nowadays in commercial growing, cloches have largely been replaced by row cover, and are mainly found in smaller gardens.


Maximum Yield Explains Cloche

Cloches are designed to be placed on top of plants to keep them warm, protect them from snow and ice, and act as a mini greenhouse. Garden cloches are also known as glass domes that are placed over plants that are sensitive to cold.

The word ‘cloche’ actually means ‘bell’ in French. The glass enhances the light and heat for the plant and protects it from direct contact with snow or ice. Cloches are most useful for small plants and starts because they take up space in the garden bed.

Cold frames, greenhouses, and hoop houses are great protectors against the elements, but these semi-permanent structures are not as portable as cloches. For a few tender basil plants or a prized hot pepper, a simple blanket could be used to cover them, but a more effective way to keep them growing is to cover them each with an individual plant protector, the cloche.

There are various types of cloches available on the market. The Solar Umbrella cloche folds and unfolds for easy storage. The spike handle holds the umbrella in place, and its height can be adjusted for venting. The Lantern Cloche is made of an aluminum frame and double-walled, rigid plastic for optimum durability; its pyramidal top can be set ajar for venting. The Solar Bell is a simple plastic version of the traditional glass jar cloche that is lightweight, durable, and inexpensive. Another commercial cloche known as the Plastic Grow Dome is sold as two halves that snap together. It's easily vented by snapping open the holes on the top.

Utilitarian plastic milk jugs with the bottoms cut out are vented by opening the lid and can be used as cloches, too. Soda bottles can also be used. However, they offer only a few degrees of frost protection.


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