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A hoop house is an easy way to extend your gardening season.
Instead of buying a premade hoop house or low tunnel, you can make one for yourself for $20. Actually, I made a total of 3 hoop houses that I combined into one long low tunnel.
Making a DIY hoop house lets you start your seeds and plants earlier than you would have before. The fabric acts as a frost barrier, keeping your plants frost-free and warmer.
In general, I find that you can start plants 2-3 weeks EARLIER in a hoop house, and it also lets you extend your growing season later in the fall. That means you can grow even more food for your family.
Ready to get started? This project takes less than one hour – seriously!
What You Need to Make Hoop Houses
I’m going to share what I used. Now, this covered 3 raised beds that are roughly 4-5 feet long. The fabric that I used covered 30 feet of space.
- 6 – 1/2 inch x 10ft PVC pipe
- 2.5-inch screws or larger
- Floating Row Cover fabric
- Landscape stakes (included with the row cover)
How to Make Hoop Houses
I promise these instructions are so easy. You won’t believe it!
1. Take your PVC pipe and put it next to your garden bed. Push it into the ground; it will go into the ground an inch or so. It will stand up in the air, which my kids thought was hilarious.
2. Now, grab your drill and drill the screw into the PVC pipe and into your raised bed. It does take a bit of force, but it goes in quickly. Now, the one side is secure.
3. Slowly but firmly bend the PVC pipe and stick it into the opposite side of your raised beds. Try to get it as close to the raised bed as possible. Ideally, it’ll touch the side of the bed.
4. Repeat step 2 and drill a screw into the PVC pipe and raised bed.
5. Repeat these steps for all of your beds, depending on how long you want your hoop house to be.
6. Now, unfold your floating row cover. Drape it over one end and hold it in place with the included landscape stakes. Then, drag it over the rest of the hoops and place several landscape stakes along the sides and the opposite end of the hoop house.
Now You’re Done!
I told you that it was easy. It was a great project to do with the kids. It was completed quickly, so it held their attention. They helped hold the PVC pipe in place for me (even though this is totally a solo project if you want).
Do you want to learn how to grow your own food? Take a look at The Vegetable Garden which shows you how to plan your ultimate garden this year.
The Benefits of Making a Mini Hoop House
Now, if you search hoop houses, you’ll find massive ones that are 50 feet long that let you walk inside of them. I don’t have the space or the cash for that, and I’m guessing you don’t either.
Instead, when you make a smaller version, they’re often called low tunnels. No matter what you want to call it, there are benefits to it. Here are some that you should know.
Extend The Harvest
Who doesn’t want to eat fresh veggies earlier in the spring and later in the fall? The fabric traps heat inside that warms the soil, giving you the chance to start plants earlier or keep the growth going longer.
Protects Your Plants
Using these in your garden helps to protect your plants from the wind, frost, snow, or ice. You also can use them to protect hardy plants in containers, fruit bushes, and even fruit trees.
Encourages Over-Wintered Plants
You can overwinter late-season crops, such as onions and carrots. They’ll continue to grow as the temperatures start to rewarm in the spring. Acting a low tunnel lets the soil warm up soon and get that growth going faster.
Works in the Summer Too
If you use light-weight garden blankets, you can use these hoops as insect protection. You can stop cabbage loppers, cucumber beetles, or squash bugs from taking over. Just make sure to remove the cover to allow pollinators to reach the flower buds.
What I’m Growing in My Mini Hoop House
As I mentioned before, having a mini hoop house lets me grow veggies earlier than my season typically allows. I will have many of my spring crops growing in the ground by the end of March.
Here’s what I’m planting!
Give It a Try
Now is the perfect time to make your own DIY hoop house. You can get started growing your own food in no time.