Stacking Functions Garden

DIY mini hoop house

6 Comments

We took advantage of a beautiful February day to build our wee hoop house today! Here’s the materials list:

(3) 6 foot 2×4 pieces of construction lumber
(3) pieces conduit
(6) 8 inch galvanized carriage bolts
(6) nuts
(12) washers
Roll of plastic sheeting (we used 6mm)
(4) corner brackets

First, start with a plan:

hoop house plansAdam was not satisfied until we could come up with a plan for a hoop house that could be taken apart, so this was where we finally landed:  a wooden frame with a lip that would fit snugly on top of the stock tank, with 6 bolts sticking up from it that the conduit pipes could slide on to. Plastic on top.  So we will be able to disassemble it relatively easily and store it over the summer months.

mini hoop house construction

We started by building the frame. The exact size depends on the raised bed/stock tank/whatever you want to cover.  Ours was very specific: 5.5 feet x 2 feet, with curved edges. Kinda tough to fit, but we got it to work. Note the lip, this is so it fits securely over the edges. This was similar to  making a picture frame.  45 degree angles, corner brackets, a bit of wood glue.

bending the conduit for a hoop house

Next it was time to bend the conduit pipe into the hoop shape. This turned out to be surprisingly easy, since we had the stock tank right there to use as a template. The kids were amazed at Dad’s superhuman strength.

Cutting the conduit hoops down to size…

mini hoop house construction

Measuring, marking, drilling holes…

Adding the carriage bolts…

Hoops in place!

mini hoop house constructionFitting it onto the stock tank (to be filled with more soil and compost later).

Plastic, stapled along the bottom of the long edges, main access/venting will be through either end of the tunnel and also by lifting off the entire hoop structure — it’s quite light weight.  We simply tacked down each end with a thumbtack.

hoop house on a stock tank

And there you have it — a mini hoop house-style green house for our little stock tank garden.  We’re starting with one this year, and if it performs spectacularly, we will make two more for our smaller tanks.  Next up: I will start seeds for lettuce and greens this week, to plant them out in late March or early April, depending on the weather.  What a fun project!

6 thoughts on “DIY mini hoop house

  1. Pingback: Hoop houses « The Conscientious Omnivore

  2. I think this is absolutely brilliant; thanks for sharing!

  3. How did it work out? I’m really wanting to do this for my 3 stock tanks after losing 3 big temp greenhouses last winter to the snow and wind here in colorado. Thinking smaller will be better and hopefully less dangerous than a 20 foot tall greenhouse crashing around the back yard :-O

    • Hi Megan! It worked out great! We’ve been using it every spring for … quite a few years now. We disassemble it and put it away in May or so. We’ve replaced the plastic once or twice. I have some stock tanks that I moved to a new location and now I’m thinking about making some hoop houses for them–but I think I would update the design to make it a little more tight-fitting and/or airtight than this one. This one does have giant gaps around the framing that limit the amount of warming it provides. It’s still great though–every spring I start my lettuce seedlings in there really early (for Minnesota) and we’re eating lettuce by mid-May or so usually, which is great for here. 🙂

      Please note I have no idea whether this could be used all winter as a true greenhouse. I use it as a “season extender” and it works great for that. But I don’t even know what hardiness zone Colorado is…

  4. I just made this but having a hard time with the plastic. How did you do the ends?

    • Hi Anna! Sorry for the delay in response. I gather up the ends and pin them down with a thumbtack. It’s not a perfect solution, but works well enough for my purposes.

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