Would you believe me if I told you that you could extend your gardening season to be 4 months longer? Think of how much more you could grow with 4 extra months! You might believe that this can be done but when I tell you that you can do this for less than $10, you might be a bit skeptical. I am here to show you how easy it is! It will take you 10 minutes to put up, requires little to no watering and will cost you less than $10. Sound good? I sure think it does!
So just what is this? I call it a hoop house. Not sure if that is the correct name or not….but it sounds good. My neighbor and I did this project yesterday in less than 10 minutes. She was nice enough to allow me to shoot some photos while she put hers up! Thanks Tracy! We live in Wisconsin and we have brutal winters (with exception of this year). I usually start planting early May and my garden comes to an end in late September. By putting this hoop house up, we were able to plant in March and will extend our season though November! That is 4 extra months! You will be amazed how easy it is to put up and also how easy it is to maintain. Once up, the hoop house creates its own moisture (humidity) and keeps the soil warm creating a perfect environment for the plants to flourish. The plants are protected from frost and hard freezes in this self made hoop house.
Here is what you will need to get started.
- 1/2-inch PVC pipe (they are sold in 10 foot pieces). Depending on the size of your garden/raised bed, you will need one of these for every 3-4 feet. These cost roughly 1.50 a piece.
- cement pavers – you will need about one every 3-4 feet. These will cost you about $.30 cents a piece.
- 1 piece of 3 mil clear plastic sheeting, make sure it is large enough to cover your bed. This will cost you about $3.00
- handheld saw to cut the pipes. You can also have your home improvement center cut them for free.
The first thing you want to do is saw the PVC pipes to 7 feet long.
Next put the PVC pipe into the soil and bend it to the other side. PVC piping is very flexible. This will make a dome like shape.
Drape your plastic over the PVC creating a dome like sturcture.
Place cement pavers or bricks around the perimeter of the bed securely holding the plastic down. You should place enough bricks around the hoop house so that cool air stays out and the air in the hoop house stays in to create the proper humidity.
Once you are done, this is what your hoop house should look like.
Look at these two photos. The plants were grown in the hoop house here in Wisconsin. The average temperature has been around 45-50ºF and the evenings have been in the low 30′s. These were planted last month and are ready for harvest already. Pretty amazing how these hoop houses create such beautiful healthy plants that thrive in this environment.
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