Introduction: Build a Garden Box Hoop House
A garden hoop house is a small greenhouse that will raise the air temperature by 20 degrees. Use over your vegetable garden box or pond. It's easy to build and is approx. 4' tall x 3 1/2' wide x 5' long. The hoop house I made inserted right inside my above ground pond.
Step 1: You Will Need...
1) 4 pieces of 10 foot length 1/2" PVC pipe
2) 3 pieces corner PVC pipe fittings
3) 3 pieces 3-port PVC pipe fittings
4) 4 mil or 5 mil thick plastic sheeting
5) White duct tape
6) Electrical tape
7) Large Zip ties
8) C9 or C7 Large Christmas tree lights
10) PVC pipe cutter or hacksaw
Step 2: Cutting the PVC Pipe
The easiest way to cut the PVC pipe is with a plastic pipe cutter, but you can also use a hacksaw. It can be purchased at most large hardware stores such as Lowe's, Home Depot, or Menards.
CUTTING THE HOOPS
The purpose of shortening the hoop length is to minimize air space for heating purposes. To make a 4' tall hoop house, shorten 3 of the 10 foot pipes by 2 feet each... making each section 8 feet long.
CUTTING THE SIDE BARS
Cut 1 piece of 10 foot PVC pipe into 4 sections 2 1/2 feet long.
Step 3: Corner and Center Fittings
Because of the threads that are in 1 port of each corner fitting, I had to use 2 different kinds of fittings. (three corner fittings and one 3-port) I could have attached adapters so the pipe would fit, but then that would throw off my measurements.
Middle bar fittings
Use 2 of the 3-port fittings (top of picture) to connect the center hoop and side bars.
Note: The first hoop house I made did not have a center bar. This caused sagging when I attached the plastic sheeting.
Step 4: Assemble the PVC Pipe
Lay out pipe and attach with fittings
Connect the 2 1/2 foot long pieces of pipe together with the 3-port fittings. Lay each side into place.
Take the three 8 foot pieces of pipe and gently bend into shape for the hoops. Attach to the end corner fittings and center fittings.
When it is all put together, slide the PVC structure inside your garden box.
For added support, you can glue the pipe in place with pipe glue and connect another piece of PVC pipe at each end.
Step 5: Adding the Lights
Depending on what you are growing, heating lights are necessary for zones 8 and below. I am in zone 9, but am using heating lights to protect my water lotus seedlings.
Attach zip ties to each of the 3 hoops and tape into place with white duct tape. Hanging the large Christmas tree lights on the zip ties will help to keep the lights away from the plastic sheeting.
Prevent Burning: Do not hang the lights close to the plastic sheeping and do not hang close to any plants.
Taping the Light Chord with Electrical Tape
Tape the end of the string of lights to prevent moisture from getting into open outlet end of the lights. Plug in the the lights to and extension chord and tape over the connection. This will keep the lights and connection safe and dry.
Set your lights on a timer to save energy!
NOTE: I purchased my lights from www.etsy.com
Step 6: Attaching the Plastic Sheeting
Where to buy
Plastic sheeting can be purchased at most hardware stores, such as Lowe's, Home Depot, or Menards.
4 mil plastic sheeting
I like 4 mil plastic sheeting, because it lets in more light. However, it will only last about 1 season out in the weather. The plastic sheeting can be reinforced by laying down strips of white duct tape - ribbing the greenhouse.
6 mil plastic sheeting
This thickness is very durable and is what I chose for this greenhouse. However, it lets in less light than the 4 mil sheeting.
Depending on your growing zone, you may need to insulate your greenhouse. This can be accomplished with 2 layers of plastic sheeting with 1" size bubble wrap in between each sheet.
Measuring and Attaching the Plastic
Measure the plastic sheeting to about 9 feet long. Any extra sheeting can be used to hang over potted plants next to the garden box. Use a pair of scissors to poke holes in the sheeting for the zip ties.
BEFORE poking the holes, attach white duct tape to reinforce the hole.
Attach plastic with the zip ties, but DO NOT pull the zip tie tight. If the zip tie is pulled tight it can cause tearing.
Step 7: Cover and Uncover
The way I attached the plastic sheeting will allow me to pull back the plastic sheeting during the day to allow for climate control.
To keep your hoop house from flying away, you can allow for air flow at the bottom of the house, cut a few slits in the plastic, and/or anchor the hoop house to the ground.
I always say... If I can do it then you can do it too. Enjoy your hoop house and growing your winter vegetables or pond plants. I alway welcome comments and ideas.
Please visit my website for fun garden ideas: www.pondplantgirl.com
GARDEN BLESSINGS, GAiL
Video coming soon!