Grow Your Own Fruit
Grapes: grapes require tall cloches -about 37 cm (15”)—these may need to be stood on end: by using cloches on grapes they can be picked up to six weeks earlier than the unprotected plants.
Melon: this crop is usually considered to be a luxury one and, as melons are tender fruit, they can prove rather difficult to grow in colder areas. The plants are best raised in pots in heated greenhouses and set out 90 cm (3’) apart in pre-warmedunder cloches in early summer, as for . With melons, you should leave the cloches over the plants until harvesting time. Melons, which also need to be pollinated by hand, prefer slightly drier and hotter conditions than or cucumbers.
Raspberries: you can grow raspberries which mature in late spring or early summer, if the district and season are mild, with the aid of cloches. Plant strong-growing, healthy, one-year-old canes in late autumn, spacing them 25-30 cm (10-12”) apart, and tying them to stakes or wires. At the beginning of late winter, cut the canes down to about 30 cm (12”) above ground level and cover them with large cloches, such as high barn or ‘T’ cloches, making sure that you close up the ends of each row. You must give enough ventilation when the flowers open to ensure pollination by insects. Do this by removing the end covers, leaving a 15cm (6”) gap between the individual cloches, or, in fine weather, removing the cloches altogether; replace cloches when fruit has set. The soil preparation and other culti-vation details are the same as for the standard unprotected summer crop. Sideshoots will grow out from the buds and bear the fruit. The cloches should not be removed until after harvesting.
Strawberries: conventional cloches and plastic tunnels are extremely good for producing early or late strawberries. The earliest crops of choice fruit can be obtained from late summer-planted maiden strawberries spaced 23 cm (9”) apart and cloched in late winter. The best late crop is produced from early autumn-planted strawberries, de-blossomed in spring and early summer. Cover the setting or formed fruits from late summer until fruiting is over. In both cases, plant in single rows in narrow cloches or tunnels, or in a wider cloches plant in double rows, 25 cm (10”) apart, with the plants staggered. These are the ideal methods. The strawberry season can be extended with plants more than one year old, but do not expect such large fruits from these older plants.