Thursday, 24 November 2011

Salad protection

We do like our salads, and this year I am trying hard to keep the salad-growing season going as long as possible. Underneath my three Longrow cloches I have lettuces of two different varieties ("Winter Density" and "All The Year Round"), as well as various endives and radicchios.There were more lettuces than would fit under the cloches and a few of them were therefore "left out in the cold" (except that it hasn't yet been really cold...).

"All The Year Round"

I remembered today that earlier this year I bought some very large individual cloches, which were originally used to protect my Marrow and my Cucumbers, so I have dug these out of the garage and put them to use:

These cloches are really good, because they are especially tall and allow plants to grow quite big under their protection. They were a bargain at £10 for 3. They have closeable vents at the top, which allows you to control the temperature, and come with wire pegs to anchor them into the soil.

Elsewhere I have salad plants dotted around all over the place, like for instance in this large plastic pot which previously housed potatoes.

 It houses two plants each each of Curly Endive and Batavian Endive.

Batavian Endive, aka "Scarole"

Curly Endive
Actually, I must see whether one of those cloches would fit over that pot. It looks just about the right size.

Last year I tried to protect my late-season salads with fleece, but it was not very effective, largely because it kept getting trashed by the foxes. Hopefully the more rigid cloches will not succumb so easily.


  1. Your cloches look as if they will do a good job for you Mark, I hope you manage to keep harvesting leaves.

  2. As the temperature goes down, cloches like yours and vinyl tunnels are more effective for facilitating the growth of our vegetables.
    I know the attacks by foxes which you mentioned in your blog but your cloches, which may be made of plastic, seem to have enough thickness to protect your vegetables.

  3. They all look very healthy Mark - unfortunately mine in the greenhouse have succumbed to mould, with the damp weather we have had, but there are still enough left to keep us going I think.

  4. I've seen those cloches here so I'm away to get me some...I did wonder if they'd do the job and now thanks to you I can see they're perfect.

    Some of my lettuce have bolted ~ not sure why ~ but there's still a few left.
    I'll just have to be careful that I don't bake them though. I'll need to keep them well away from the sun.
    Kinda difficult here in Oz {whoops sorry I realise your heading into winter} ;D

  5. They look super healthy - I really should plant some endive it looks beautiful.

  6. They look remarkably free of slug attack too Mark.

  7. I hope all your salad plants do well. When I see all the effort gardeners in the West take to protect plants from the cold, I realise how fortunate I am not to have to worry about winter at all. At the peak of winter here, if you could call it winter, it is extremely pleasant. Fruits and vegetables thrive in our winters. We get apples, carrots and peas in abundance in winter. Here, what gardeners fear are the heavy monsoon rains and the scorching summers.

  8. Those are nice cloches! They are not so common here.

  9. Fox, well that's is one animal we don't have to worry they actually eat your produce? Nice cloches, we use old milk jugs in the spring but I like your reall ones better...much more room in them.

  10. I remember your problems with the foxes last year. I think your cloches will not suffer the same fate.

  11. Lovely blog.
    I wouldn't usually buy bottled water but I bought 6 or 8 5-litre bottles earlier in the year to use as cloches when empty. I cut the bottom off and I can let air in by unscrewing the top (cost about £1 each).
    Not as smart as yours though...

  12. Good value cloches Mark - and lots of tasty salad leaves readily available. Mine are all still lurking up at the allotment, not so convenient for a quick lunchtime sandwich.


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