Posts Tagged ‘Klaus Laitenberger’

CLOCHE MAKING WORKSHOP FOR MY LOCAL G.I.Y. GROUP – 3rd wk in March 2015

In our windy location in Tacumshin, Co. Wexford, near the south east coast, we will always be grateful to organic horticulture lecturer, Klaus Laitenberger, for running a course in Sonairte, Co. Meath, where I learned how to make strong, simple, low cost cloches. The main cost is the Enviromesh, a strong fine netting which allows in light and rain, but excludes small predators like carrot fly and cabbage white butterflies. (Available from http://www.fruithillfarm.com.)

The principal ingredients are 2 by 1 rough timber lengths, one inch hydrodare, flexible piping which plumbers use to carry pressurised water to taps, plus nails to hold it all together and some screws to improve the strength of the cloche. A drill bit for the 1 inch holes plus an electric drill are needed to secure  the hydrodare loops.  A staple-gun with long staples is needed to secure the enviromesh over the hydrodare loops.

This cloche design is not only effective, but it is ergonomic and stream-lined enough to deflect and filter the strong winds we get in these parts. There was a good turn-out of about 40 keen

Once the cloche was made, it was displayed on the table, while the meeting broke into smaller 'pods' to discuss the seasonal highs and lows of each other's gardens.

Once cloche was made, it was displayed on table, while meeting broke into smaller ‘pods’ to discuss the seasonal highs and lows of each other’s gardens.

GIY-ers recently at our local Wexford meeting in the Riverbank Hotel to go through the practical steps of making a sample cloche. If you are reading this and live anywhere near Wexford town, you’ll be made very welcome at our GIY monthly meetings on the 3rd Monday of every month at 7.30pm in the Riverbank Hotel. Worth checking out the GIY website also for seasonal tips and news of other GIY demos and meetings elsewhere. (www.giyinternational.org)

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THANKS TO KLAUS LAITENBERGER FOR THE CLOCHE DESIGN TO PROTECT STRAWBERRIES – 3rd wk in June 2014

A frustrated blackbird perched on a net cloche which protects the strawberry crop from bird predation.

A frustrated blackbird perched on a net cloche which protects the strawberry crop from bird predation.

A recent course held in Sonairte, the Eco-Visitor Centre and Gardens, in Co. Meath, was a good place to learn about cloche building. Organic horticulturalist and lecturer, Klaus Laitenberger taught a dozen of us how to build a simple effective cloche using wood, hydrodare rubber piping and Bionet or garden netting. Unfortunately, Bionet is far more expensive than netting, but it does last for 7 years the makers claim. It keeps out carrot root fly and cabbage white butterflies too, so it is a good product.

Hopefully the attached picture gives an idea of the cloche design and construction. Here in Tacumshin, we are getting a good crop of strawberries thanks the net cloches we have built to protect the crop from birds. The varieties planted are ‘Cambridge Favourite’, ‘Symphony‘ and ‘Eros‘. The favourite among friends so far is the ‘Symphony’ strawberry, it seems, by the way.

GROWING CARROTS IN A POLYTUNNEL – 2nd week in September 2013

I was surprised to see carrots growing in a polytunnel at The Organic Centre, Co. Leitrim, on a recent visit. Klaus Laitenberger in his excellent book ‘Vegetables for the Polytunnel and Greenhouse’ mentions that growing carrots under cover like this ensures an earlier crop than just growing outdoors. Growing carrots indoors also ensures no carrot root fly attacks.

Klaus, who lives not a million miles from there, says November is when first sowings of early carrots can be made in a polytunnel or greenhouse. However, he prefers to wait until January to start sowing. Before this, he places black plastic on the seedbed for a few weeks to help warm up the soil first. After sowing, Klaus places fleece over the growing crop to protect it from the cold. Another key to success is choosing the most appropriate variety. Klaus recommends Amsterdam Forcing, Buror F1, Napoli F1, Rocket F1 or Ya Ya F1, which

Carrots growing in The Organic Centre under plastic, protected from the carrot root fly.

Carrots growing in The Organic Centre under plastic, protected from the carrot root fly.

is a Nantes type.