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Cloches & Cold Frames
Our plants, fruit and vegetables all expect plenty from us – and any keen gardener or those amongst us with slightly green fingers are always only too happy to oblige! The vast majority of plant life in the UK requires plenty of warmth, plenty of water, essential nutrients and – of course – daily sunlight. Sometimes, however, as anyone overseeing a garden in the UK will tell you, the weather isn’t always so dependable – meaning that you won’t only need to make sure that you are watering your plants regularly and ensuring that they get all the heat and light they need, but to also endeavour to protect them from harmful wind and other natural events that could seriously impair their growth and health long term.
Large Overlap Cold Frame from Forest - Used in the garden to create microclimates cloches and cold frames are perfect for protecting your plants against adverse weather conditions and pests. By allowing sunlight in and not allowing heat to escape they provide the perfect setting for hardening off seedlings or for extending the growing period of your vegetables.

Large Overlap Cold Frame from Forest

Cloches and cold frames are, in a way, rather like greenhouses – they are handy, miniature protective covers and systems which can be used to help plants survive amidst aggressive wind, cold snaps and more besides. Gardeners keen on preserving their greenery against the threat of Mother Nature will likely do best to pick up a cloche or a cold frame or two – and while they may come in various shapes, sizes and types, they will all help you keep your garden life safe and healthy in even the most aggressive of weathers. They are also fantastic for helping to protect plants who are sickly or are in need of particularly special care!
What are Cloches?
Cloches are rather like personal domes for your plants – named after the French for ‘bell’, these domed shapes can be used to cover up individual shrubs and plants, and unlike earlier models of the cloche, you can now purchase environmentally-friendly plastic models which come fully ventilated – as your greenery is going to need to breathe, too! Cloches are often seen as a great way to save money on protecting plants in need of a little helping hand in surviving harsh weather. Why build a whole greenhouse for one or two plants when you can easily cloche them for a fraction of the price?  /  Shop for Bell Cloches  /  Shop for Long Row Cloches
What are Cold Frames?
Cold frames are a little more extensive than cloches in the sense that they are something of the step between the models we have discussed above and full greenhouses. Cold frames can be built by hand from a kit and are much smaller than your average greenhouse model – meaning that setup, maintenance and more besides are easy to control. They are the perfect size and shape for you to sow new plants and to protect saplings and poorly plants from harsh conditions. Cold frames are, in a way, an ideal ‘preschool’ or ‘hospital’ for plants – a great choice for anyone who may have more than a handful of greenery in need of that little bit of TLC or protection from the outside world, and for anyone hoping to raise a fine team of plants, vegetables and/or fruit from year to year – before promoting them into a main flowerbed.  /  Shop for Cold Frames
Why Go for Cloches and Cold Frames?
Both cloches and cold frames are seen as financially viable and are often chosen as a step up towards a full greenhouse or two. If you are not interested in setting up a complete greenhouse at present or if you have neither the need nor the finances to support one, there is every reason you should start things slowly and work your way up from a simple cloche, up to a cold frame, and then green housing. Your plants are depending upon you every minute of every day – give them some shelter and they’ll be very grateful indeed!
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Cloches & Cold Frames - Gardening Shop UK

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