How to Make a Cloche - cheap and easy

Here's how to make a cloche that is cheap and easy. If you're focused on frugal living, cheap and easy is the way to go.

I'm very much committed to vegetable gardening as a means of cutting down the cost of living. That means I need to plant vegetable seeds throughout the year (except in the winter) so I'll have crops ready for harvest year round (even in the winter).

To do this, I need to employ cloches, greenhouses and cold frames.

In greenhouse #1, it's common for me to use 55 gallon steel drums (barrels) with tops and bottoms removed and then cut in half to make cheap and easy raised beds. They work great, especially during the spring, summer and fall. They also make an ideal platform for a homemade cloche that costs almost nothing.

Here's how to make a cloche for these barrels. It's simple as can be:

  1. Drive a stake into the middle of the half barrel filled with soil.
  2. Leave the stake sitting about 8 to 10 inches above the soil.
  3. Drape a 3 foot by 3 foot piece of plastic over the stake, centered on the stake.
  4. Gently place a locking ring for the steel drum on the lip of the barrel to seal up the cloche.
Single barrle cloche that contains young cabbage plants.

Photo left shows a half-barrel containing young cabbage plants that are protected from cold and mice inside the greenhouse with a simple and inexpensive homemade cloche.

If you want to know how to make a cloche, that's it, you're looking at it.

With a simple stake and piece of plastic, I now have a homemade cloche that will support seed germination and growing of young plants. I use just such a device to get my direct seeded spring plants off to a good start. These plants include:

  • radishes
  • beets
  • peas
  • turnips
  • cabbage

By the time these plants are tall enough to start crowding the cloche, the weather is warm enough that I don't need the help of a cloche anyway.

Barrels containing young lettuce plants protected by a single cloche held in place with pipes and locking rings from the 55 gallon drums.

A variation on this includes draping a length of plastic over several drums that are lined up. Use locking rings or several steel pipes to hold the plastic down on the rim of the barrels to retain warmth and moisture, while keeping out those pesky mice.

Photo right shows just such as arrangement on barrels that contain lettuce seedlings.

I don't know how to make a cloche any easier or cheaper. It's supports my vegetable gardening interests, and that supports my approach to frugal living. I hope it works well for you too.

Done with How to Make a Cloche, take me back to Cold Frames

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.