Heras panels – Cloche / Lean-to

Q: What are Heras panels ?

They are wire mesh panels used in the construction industry as temporary security fencing. They are lightweight and cheap and are often found in skips so are perfect for allotment ideas as they are a recycled material. There are basically two types of Heras / Harris fencing panels, the rounded top type and the thinner tubed square type.

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Heras panel poly tunnel

Latest Heras panel lean-to polytunnel

Q: Why bother building a tent thingy to cover your plants ?

Heras panel lean-to mount

How its mounted

Heras panel lean-to

Floor slab carrier made from pallet. This is heavy, probably best to only do x9 at a time.

This is the gap offset between suspended seed tray and rear wall of lean-to polytunnel

Run off from roof flows down front panel and into “Open book planting bed” pallet wood dividers ! All very clever…

UPDATE 2017-5-17 : This page is under going rapid development changes. I have reduced the length of the cloches to 1.2m to 1.6m as this makes them easier to handle, less cumbersome. The panel below was used for the roof of the lean-to polytunnel.

Q: Why bother building a tent thingy to cover your plants ?

A: Basically when your sow direct (SD’s) seedling start emerging from the soil we need to protect them from; slugs & snails, birds and hazardous weather (heavy rain / wind / frost). Also if you place the cloche on your seedling patch a few weeks prior to planting on that bed it will warm up the soil by drying it out from its winter dousing. Geoff Hamilton was a big fan of this type of cloche, I’m sure he would have loved “Heras panels” as much as I do. Also importantly we are trying to extend our British growing season by a few extra weeks using the cheapest and easiest method. Those mid April frost could damage young seedlings, this cloche should¬†reduce that damage.

The lightweight structure and drapped reinforced clear tarp means it is easy and quickly reposition on another planting bed once your seedlings have established.

Geoff Hamilton Cloche explained

This is a 3.2m x 1.86m Heras Panel with its sides cut off and then bent over to create a 2.9m long cloche by 1.5m wide.



A Heras panel with its side supports removed. Notice the blue string.

Notice as a temporary measure to make the panels easier to handle I have used a 1.5m length of rope to create the arch shape.

Use hammer to square off the round side poles.

Standing in the dead middle of the lightweight cloche frame and lean in and pick it up. You can then easily walk it into its final position. This structure is easy to move from planting bed to planting bed.

The final Heras Panel cloche. A reinforced clear tarpaulin is drapped over the heras panel frame and weighted down with bricks. The reason for keeping clear tarp only loosely drapped is that by the end of April it will be removed once the weather has improved.