How to Build a Hoop House

Learn how to build a hoop house to manipulate the growing season, protect plants from insects and weather, and increase your garden’s output.

| September/October 2012

A hoop house is simply a tent frame constructed over a garden bed. This easy-to-build, inexpensive structure allows you to manipulate the growing season and protect plants from pests, depending on what material you place over its top. Drape it with ventilated plastic and it becomes a greenhouse; tent it with row cover fabric to create a physical barrier between your plants and hungry insect pests or protect plants from frost; or cover it with shade cloth to keep salad greens cool during the summer.

• 1/2- or 3/4-inch-diameter flexible plastic tubing
• Two 18- to 24-inch rebar or bamboo stakes for each length of tubing
• Ventilated plastic, row cover fabric or shade cloth (60 or 72 inches wide works best)
• Three garden clips for each length of tubing (medium for 1/2-inch tubing; large for 3/4-inch tubing)

1. Cut several pieces of plastic tubing into 5- to 6-foot lengths, or lengths that will allow the tubing to arch about a foot above your plants when they are mature.

2. You want the hoops to arch crosswise over the bed. Position the stakes in each corner of the bed and then directly across from each other at 3-foot intervals (in my 3-foot-wide, 6-foot-long beds, I have three hoops, one on each end and one in the middle). Pound the stakes into the ground, leaving 8 to 10 inches of each one exposed. Be sure to buy rebar or bamboo that is a smaller diameter than the tubing. Otherwise the tubing won’t fit over the stake.

3. To make each arch, slide the tubing over a stake, bow it crosswise over the bed, and slide the other end of the tubing over the stake on the opposite side of the bed.

4. Drape plastic, row cover fabric or shade cloth over the arches. Cut the material to fit, making sure you leave extra that can be weighed down or staked into place.

9/12/2014 2:03:35 AM

I need to do this! where can I buy the garden clips to attach the material to the tubing?

9/12/2014 2:03:04 AM

I need to do this! where can I buy the garden clips to attach the material to the tubing?

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