Another cloche/hoop option

Polytunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, propagators & more. How to get the best out of yours...

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Ricard with an H
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Ricard with an H » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:38 pm

As if a thank-you for your input wasn't enough I had the solution all the time. Remember that £40 greenhouse tent I bought, the fabric gave up but I kept the frame and look what I built.

Recovering ground for growing is difficult but can be done, the top soil is thin and stony, if you look at my comfrey patch which is just five paces away the soil is now so rich and lovely I'm on my second harvest of comfrey already and it's rhubarb in the corners with yet more poo around it.

On this new strip i'm going to go for mound planting then for next year I'll add more poo-compost during winter and I'm thinking about keeping the soil a little heavier for cabbages because they got ripped out in 25 knots planted in nice loose soil.
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How are you supposed to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle if it completely removes a wine lover’s reason to live?
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby retropants » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:32 pm

brilliant frame Richard! we use old broken frames like those for exactly the same purpose, but not nearly as neat as yours.
I swear by enviromesh over brassicas (broccoli full of caterpillars is quite revolting), even over leeks now, due to leek moth having arrived a couple of years ago.
I'm sure it won't be long before we are netting everything, after 20 odd years, it is getting quite tiresome. the wildlife seem to be getting a taste for all sorts these days.
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Westi » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:35 pm

Agree with Retropants. It has to be environmesh for brassica's, leeks & carrot fly. It's an expensive investment but I keep an eye out for sales etc. A couple of years back got some 3 metre pieces in 99 p shop! I sewed them together to make a useful size. Never seen it since & what they had disappeared quickly!

Some of mine must be 10 years old now & a quick rinse in spring makes it look like new again.

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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Beryl » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:59 pm

Well done Richard, just like a true allotment holder - make do and mend.
Brilliant.

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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Ricard with an H » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:35 pm

Beryl wrote:Well done Richard, just like a true allotment holder -
Beryl.


Thanks-thanks and thanks, I did have to bite the bullet and buy a 10 metre roll of enviromesh. She doesn't eat cabbage so she'll frown whilst she buys yet another pair of shoes. :D

I'm going-for-it, I'm not quite sure about mound-planting but I'll flatten the top and plant either side of the centre this year rather than down the middle which seems a waste of hard worked-soil. It appears close planting gives me leaves, I want leaves rather than hearts.

I think I already said, what keeps me going is knowing how much work you allotment holders have done over the years, my allotment is right alongside my home with a massive source of cow-poo all around me. The cow poo has to go into the ground in the autumn, then the worms do the work. Otherwise it's much-much to hard work for me to mix it in.

Has anyone ever used a cement mixer ?
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:21 pm

In my younger days, i would often put 100 ton of aggregate through one, in a week....
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Ricard with an H
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Ricard with an H » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:31 pm

What about mixing compost,soil and sand ?

Lumpy compost surely breaks down a little more in a mixer,even then, mixing into soil by hand can never do the job of a mixer.

I'm going to try it, in-due-course.

Back to the issue of netting enclosures I'm thinking about Geoffs use of clothes pegs being a good idea to control it's flapping about. If it's flapping, it's destroying itself.
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Geoff » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:18 pm

Why is everyone suggesting Environmesh for Brassicas? Definitely for Carrot Fly buts seems OTT to me for Cabbage White.
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby retropants » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:58 pm

I repeat my revolting caterpillars in broccoli comment! Maybe you don't get as many as I do, they are quite relentless in Middlesex! :lol:
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Ricard with an H » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:45 am

Geoff wrote:Why is everyone suggesting Environmesh for Brassicas? Definitely for Carrot Fly buts seems OTT to me for Cabbage White.

I had meant to ask about the net holes, some of my mesh order will be used to protect carrots. Presumably the finer mesh lets less rain through, also, I intend sewing hems round the edges so a finer mesh is called for.

Will the expanded metal I have keep cabbage whites away ? If that's the case I'll first use that on the small plants.
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Geoff » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:21 am

Butterfly netting is often 5mm x 7mm, I can't remember your exmet size but I guess it would do the job.
Do you think the moths that lay in broccoli smaller than the butterflies, Retropants?
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby retropants » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:02 am

not sure Geoff, but even a checked and picked over head, prepared and put into boiling water will release more of the little blighters :shock:
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby robo » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:34 am

I use scaffold netting keep all butterflies out and is cheap
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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby Beryl » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:30 pm

Retroplants, if you soak broccoli heads in salt water first that should bring out most of them.

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Re: Another cloche/hoop option

Postby retropants » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:42 pm

thanks Beryl, tired that, it helps, but they still float out into the saucepan water. anyway, I have enviromesh now, so all good :)
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