The comfort from a warm blanket on a cold night is a lovely reasurring thing. In the garden, though, plants must brave harsh elements. One way to keep your cuttings and seedlings healthy over the colder months is to protect them in makeshift greenhouses.
Gather your supplies
• Recycled barrel
• Hoop iron
• 50mm hinges
• Mix of plant cuttings
You’ll also need
Bricks or pavers; masking tape; drill and bits; jigsaw; safety glasses; button-head screws; seed-raising mix; watering can
Step 1 Place barrel on ground. Use bricks on either side to hold it in place while working. Using tape, mark out position and size of 2 openings. Drill holes into each corner of marked areas.
Step 2 Wearing safety glasses, insert jigsaw blade into hole at 1 corner. Using tape as a guide, cut along 1 short side. Remove jigsaw. Repeat for other opening.
Step 3 Evenly space 2 hinges along cut edge of 1 opening and secure with screws. Repeat for other opening.
Step 4 Insert jigsaw into hole in corner of 1 opening then, using tape as a guide, cut around opening. Repeat for other opening. Remove tape.
Step 5 Roll barrel onto other side. Drill several drainage holes in that side, which will be the base.
Step 6 Using wire snips, cut two 20cm lengths of hoop iron. Fold 1 in half and screw to front of 1 lid. This will make it easy to access your cuttings and prevent lid from caving in. Repeat for other lid.
STEP 7 Add seed-raising mix to roughly quarter-fill barrel and plant up with cuttings. Water well.
Try these too
• Care for tender plants in a mini glasshouse. Make a small square enclosure with hay bales, then hinge together a pair of window sashes and arrange on top. The hay bales act as insulation and shelter plants from strong winds, while the glass radiates heat and creates a warm environment. Pop a few winter vegies in your mini glasshouse, such as kale and spinach, to grow and enjoy now.
• Give shelter to an established garden under an A-frame trellis made using stakes (ours were recycled plastic garden stakes) and a crop protection net – one designed to withstand cold and frost. Place 1 stake in each corner of the bed, securing at the top (we used a 3 Way A-Frame Garden Stake Connector). Position 1 stake across top and secure to the upright stakes. Drape net loosely over frame, securing edges with pegs or hold them down with bricks.