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Fleece or cloche?

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default Fleece or cloche?

Post by Hathorite on 28th September 2010, 7:34 pm

I've got some seeds to plant out in November for early spring broad beans and peas - and I've got just the raised bed to put them into as well - but our winters have been getting worse, and I'm wondering about growing them under cover, but not sure which would work best. Is it a matter of choice or are there direct pros and cons?

I also considered putting in some half-rotting compost into my raised bed and letting it sit there (as the soil pretty much gave all it got to my other crops this year). I've heard doing this can bring the soil temperature up slightly, but not sure if it's true or not - sort of like a lasagne bed?

I've got a little spare cash toward the end of October and I want to get prepared before I put the seeds in, so just taking notes now.

Cheers!
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default Re: Fleece or cloche?

Post by Compostwoman on 28th September 2010, 7:44 pm

A hot bed needs to be quite biologically active to get a reasonable temp rise, think piles of fresh steaming horse or chicken poo, covered with enough soil to grow in...

BUT even a small cover on the soil, before you plant into is can make a difference in keeping the soil warmth in, and a layer of compost can only help.

I would use fleece over tubes, so that you can replace fleece with clear polythene ( if you have some...) unless you can afford to buy/construct a permanent solid raised bed cloche over the raised bed...

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default Re: Fleece or cloche?

Post by Hathorite on 28th September 2010, 7:49 pm

I considered doing a permanent one but it's possible I'll have to move from here in the spring (long story!) so I don't want to do any more work on the garden if I can help it. Yeah, I know, I just started to get it sorted out there...le-sigh.

Fleece sounds like a better option then - do I put it up about two weeks before I want to get the seed in, or is it rather subjective? The past two years I've been here, the really nasty ice and cold tends to hit about mid-December, and I'd be gutted if I lost the stuff just as it was getting its grow on.
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default Re: Fleece or cloche?

Post by Compostwoman on 28th September 2010, 7:55 pm

I would put your compost on now, cover the surface of the bed with cardboard or black plastic.

Then take it off ( if plastic) or you could plant through the cardboard...

then drape the fleece over that.

Tbh broad beans, peas which are for overwintering are pretty hardy things, though...it is what they are designed for....

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default Re: Fleece or cloche?

Post by Hathorite on 28th September 2010, 8:13 pm

Righto, if my arm eases up I'll get on that tomorrow. Cheers for the advice!
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