Sometime in July my mom said she thought we should have a real hoop house this year.
**By ‘real’ she meant something to replace the one we had last year which was sufficient for our first year but was only about three feet high in the middle so she had to raise the end and crawl in to water or otherwise tend to the plants.
The dish is to show scale, the old hoop house was about half as high as the dish.
This is North Carolina so when she brought up the project in July I knew I had months until we actually had to do anything about it.
“Suuuure,” I said, “we can do that.”
Well before I knew it the end of October was upon us and the hoop house loomed over my head, so to speak.
The plans looked easy enough, they were from MaryJanesFarm Magazine. They advertised making the project for under $200.
We can do it for $100, I secretly thought. I didn’t tell mom what I was thinking, I didn’t want her to think I was cheap or something.
(That’s a laugh, we live in the same house, of course she knows how cheap I am. She also knows I am a saver, both of which will come in handy for this project, your welcome very much!)
It’s called a hoop house because the structure is largely supported by PVC pipes– bent into half circles or hoops.
We started out with a visit to our local Lowe’s store –it’s almost within walking distance, big selling point when we bought the house 15 years ago!
We bought the stuff on the list minus a few big things. Their plans called for cattle fencing for the heart of the structure. Well, in our climate we will get little, if any, snow and the same for wind so we decided to skip the fencing (there’s a significant savings). We also had a few supplies laying around the yard. When I say laying, that’s what I mean. I’m not proud of it. but that’s what it is.
We started by pounding our 18 inch re-bar in the ground at regular intervals.
Mom pounded…someone had to take the pictures!
Once the re-bar was in, we looped 16 ft PVC poles into the re-bar. (FYI, at Lowe’s the PVC only came in 10 ft sections. we could order 20 ft but had to buy it 200 at a time. We opted for 10 ft and we had six foot poles from last year’s hoop house that we saved and joints from a project I had about five years ago. True, I could have thrown away the joints years ago but then we would have to buy them this year. See, being a
hoarder, saver, comes in handy.
You can barely see a pile of PVC on the right side of this picture, that’s where we salvaged our 6ft pieces from.
Once we had all our PVC in I built the door. There were no actual directions on how to build the door and the frame, just pictures.
It didn’t look all that hard…but I don’t exactly have a work area, so I did the best I could in the garage and put it together. We put the plastic from last year on the door and were ready to go.
1. the door 2. the door jam under the door in the crowded garage 3.mom helping put the plastic on the door.
The door attached to the front hoop with zip ties.
1. We pulled the plastic end to end 2. Then we conferred on how to attach the ends 3. Finally we attached the ends with Gorilla Tape.
Mom’s sisters came for the weekend so we put them to work helping put the plastic over the PVC and attached it to the two end poles with Gorilla Tape. Have you used that yet? That stuff is sticky!! We say, let the winds blow, that plastic isn’t going anywhere. We also used 6 mil plastic, as opposed to the 4 mil we used last year. The 6 mil is really sturdy we think we can use it again next year, er, as long as we can get the Gorilla tape off it.
Next we put the ends up which were attached to the plastic that covered the house (more Gorilla tape).
The finished product
We ran one 10 ft PVC pole above the poles as a spine to better support the entire thing. You can see it below. We used the cement blocks to secure the end and are ready for a frost!
The view from inside