Many gardeners take the winter season off from gardening. They work hard from early spring through late far then take a little break but you don't have to stop growing vegetables in your garden just because the weather has changed. One way to continue growing vegetables in cold weather is to construct a hoop house. A hoop house is simply an unheated greenhouse type structure that will help keep the temperatures several degrees warmer. In areas with mild winters a hoop house can allow you to continue growing all the way through the winter. Hoop houses can be made of many different types of materials. In this post you will see one way to put together an economical, small hoop house for your garden.
How to Make a Small Hoop House for Winter Vegetable Gardening:
It took me part of one day to put together one hoop house so you can easily put together several over the course of a weekend. You could even create a larger hoop house using the same type of construction materials.
Materials for a Hoop House
- 5 - 3/4 in. electrical conduits (10' cut in half)
- 2 - 4"x4" pressure treated 8' posts
- 2 - 1"x4" pressure treated 8' boards
- 2 - 1/2"x2" pressure treated 8' boards
- 20 - 3/4 in. conduit straps (one package)
- 1 roll of 6 mil plastic
- A few pieces of scrap wood
The first step to making this hoop house is to cut the conduit pipes. For this I used a pipe cutter. I cut each length of 10' pipe into two 5' lengths.
Once the pipes were cut in half I wanted to bend them to form a slight curve. You can buy a pipe bender to bend the conduit which I would recommend if you plan to put together a lot of hoop houses. I went a simpler route and placed the two 8' pieces of 4"x4"s a short distances apart and bent the pipe by placing my foot where I wanted the bend to start. Then I adjusted one end upward slightly to form the curve. It's not an exact method but I was able to get all the pieces to bend fairly consistently.
After the pipes were bent I attached them to the 8' 4"x4" lumber with the conduit straps and screws to create the ribs. I did this for both sides of the hoop house then moved them into the garden.
Next I attached two pieces of 1"x4" together to form a ridge. The ridge will hold the tops of the conduit with more conduit straps. It also serves as a good place to attach the plastic which comes next.
I rolled the plastic out on the ground and measured it to 14' long. This allowed for the 8' of hoop house I needed to cover plus an extra 6 feet for covering each end. I centered the plastic which was 10' wide over the peak and left a couple inches on each side of the hoop house to attach the plastic to the 8' posts.
Once the plastic was in place I secured it to the peak using small pieces of scrap wood leftover from a previous project and attached the bottom of the plastic to the 4"x 4" base posts. I used the 1"x 4" pieces of lumber to clamp the plastic to the base.
I anchored one end of the hoop house with a couple retaining wall blocks and the other end I folded over and used a small piece of scrap hose to hold it onto the hoop house. If I have to secure the plastic to other poles later more hoses can be used.
Inside the hoop house I should be able to maintain a warm enough environment for winter greens to grow!
Labels: greenhouse, hoop house, winter gardening, winter vegetable garden