NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Cloches & cold-frames - any easy quick cheap DIY suggestions ?  (Read 713 times)


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Cloches & cold-frames - any easy quick cheap DIY suggestions ?
« on: February 13, 2019, 06:00:24 pm »
I made up a cold-frame some time back utilising redundant twin-wall polycarb' roofing sheet, weatherproof tape and a few zip ties.  Worked a treat and still holding together.  HOWEVER, that was from surplus sheeting bits so sq.m. cost was irrelevant.  Buying new, even 4mm twin-wall is quite pricey.  So, I'm scratching around for options:

This looks quite good/cost efficient -

Hooped plastic pipe stuck into ground with some sort of flexible covering also an option, BUT I reckon that's going to be fiddly to protect against wind-lift while also allowing reasonably easy access for weeding etc. 

Any brilliant tried and tested TAS solutions out there please ?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 06:08:57 pm by arobwk »
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Cloches & cold-frames - any easy quick cheap DIY suggestions ?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 06:18:50 pm »
I would agree. Ok in a sheltered spot but that stuff flying about could be dangerous, and as you say, not easy to weed.we have tried plastic sheet over plastic tube held down with bricks, but again weeding can be difficult. I suppose it depends upon how much time you have to devote to weeding. We tend to grow early crops in a Poly tunnel and then put a later crop outside


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Cloches & cold-frames - any easy quick cheap DIY suggestions ?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 07:47:02 pm »
A great cold frame we made was from two secondary double glazing units my aunt was swapping for real DG.  We made a double cold frame to fit it, with wooden pegs at the top that the units could be slotted in to, then held open with bricks or rotating wooden stick supports, or the lights could be removed when things grew big or the day was hot.  After many years the glass broke after a particularly heavy snowfall - but it was good while it lasted.

We have used Geoff Hamilton's blue water pipe tube mini tunnels for years.  The ends of the tubes are pushed onto short lengths of cane, rather than straight into the ground.  To hold the cover in place, roll the edges around canes, then pin them down with tent pegs made of heavy weight fence wire.  For weeding (not my strong point) one side is rolled up to the centre top, then clothes pegs used to clip them to the string which marks the centre top.  Once you've done one side, replace that cover and slide up the other one.  The only bit we are still not totally happy with is how the ends are secured.  We pull them tight, tie with string, then hold them in place with bricks - not perfect.  The great thing about using blue water pipe is that you can cut the hoops as long or as short as you need, as long as you can get a cover to fit.  Or you could use lengths of cover side by side and peg them together to get the right fit.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Cloches & cold-frames - any easy quick cheap DIY suggestions ?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 09:17:10 am »
We are using secondary double glazing units as well- the glass is set in anodised aluminium frames. We just mound up the soil at the edges of the bed, plant in the centre and put the glass over it. Anything based on plastic sheeting here would blow away, even in a sheltered spot.

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • Briercliffe
    • Monk Hall Farm
Re: Cloches & cold-frames - any easy quick cheap DIY suggestions ?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 06:58:13 pm »
Chop an IBC in half and you get two big cloches. Not sure whether the light loss through the plastic would be too much though.


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