Protecting your plants from extreme weather is crucial to a happy and productive garden. When growing vegetables this is especially important as many crops will die in a frost or even under excessive rain. Luckily there are some inexpensive DIY ways you can protect your garden. One of the most popular designs for a DIY greenhouse is a hoop house. Here we’ll go over the basics of making your own.
For your hoop house, you’ll need:
Metal fencing (such as cattle fencing)
6mm thick UV-protected greenhouse plastic
Measure the area. Determine the width of your hoop house based on the type and number of plants you want to grow inside it.
Lay out stakes evenly spaced along the outside edges, hammering about half-way into the ground.
Line up the wooden boards along the stakes and test them for sturdiness. Since these will be your foundation, you don’t want them to wobble or move under pressure.
Hammer the stakes down so they are even with the top of the boards. This will prevent tripping, snagging or other safety hazards.
Level out the soil inside the boundaries of your hoop house. Measure out spaces for each plant or plant type if you have multiple. Then, add mulch in between.
Add the metal paneling in an arch connecting the two boards. You will need somebody else to help you hold and secure both sides of the fencing against the boards. Line up the fence panels so the foundation boards squeeze the metal in place.
If you’re using multiple panels of fencing, use zip ties to hold them together. Adding zip ties to multiple points will help keep them lined up and provide an even surface for the plastic.
For protection against high winds, anchor the panels into the boards with fence staples, nails or screws.
Add the greenhouse plastic over the top of the fence panels. Pull the plastic taut so there is no sagging, but not so tight that you risk tears. Secure the plastic to the fence panels with tarp clips.
Plant away! Now you have a perfect way to protect your plants from extreme conditions.
Some hoop houses and greenhouses have built in ventilation or irrigation. You can easily add these extra features now that you have the basic design. Always consider the care needs of any plants before you build so that you can make the most efficient and effective hoop house for your garden.