Bucket Garden Cloches: New Mini-Greenhouses

Greenhouse Buckets are a new type of plastic garden cloche that you can use to protect crops and achieve season extension.

Greenhouse Bucket Cloches

Greenhouse Buckets shelter garden crops so you can extend your season.

Photo by Cheryl Long

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Gardeners, if you’re aching to keep your crops going longer through late fall and winter, and itching to get new crops into the ground as early as possible in spring, you may want to try Greenhouse Buckets. A nifty new type of garden cloche about the size of a 5-gallon bucket, these clear plastic protectors trap heat on sunny days to help shield crops from frost, or to help seeds sprout early. The buckets’ tops feature adjustable vent rings to provide gardeners a means to control temperatures inside the cloches, too.

In many regions, spring crops need protection from high winds as much as, or even more than, they need protection from the cold. These sturdy buckets can provide that protection, and are indeed like portable mini-greenhouses. You can use them initially to speed germination of early spring spinach, lettuce, cabbage or other cool-weather crops, and then, a few weeks later, shift them to protect your newly transplanted tomatoes and peppers. Young plants covered with cloches will grow much faster in early spring. Then, in fall, you can use the Greenhouse Buckets to shelter select plants from frost.

I’ve found similar garden cloches useful, but, for some reason, products like this aren’t easy to find, so I’m glad to see this new, U.S.-made design come to market. Greenhouse Buckets are priced at three for about $35, with free shipping if you order a set of six. Learn more or place an order on the Greenhouse Buckets website.

Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one of North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years.