I was thinking of trying a hoop covered area to preserve my potted plants this winter. Anyone ever build one? The materials may be pricey, but can always be re-used, I suppose. I have yet to visit the big orange store to see about their long skinny PVC for the hoops, plus the short lengths of rebar to secure them. That part sounds rather simple (???). As for the cover, not so sure about that. I would like something that would stay on all the time, and allow for light and transpiration. Where should I look in the Seattle area, and what am I looking for?
A hoop garden?
I am in the process of making these for my veggie garden. Found this youtube video the other day.
They have some good articles on hoophouses on Dave's Garden also.
PVC pipes are cheap. I don't know about rebar. You could replace the rebar stakes with short lengths of PVC pipe ("sleeves") big enough that your hoop-pipes nest inside it.
I ws thinking that, if my tunnel is low enough, that I might use very thin PVC hoops, like 1/2" or 3/4".
I was thinking of stabliizing the hoops by lashing 3 runs of very light bamboo stalks lengthwise - along the top and half-way down. I see the YouTube video used a 1x3" wooden "spine" for the same purpose. I was thinking of lashing bamboo to PVC with waxed twine.
I have some very flimsy bamboo, but I use it by lashing it length-to-length so that the thinnest part of one overlaps the thickest part of the next.
Really, though, I wanted a frame light and sturdy enough that I could flip it off the bed as one piece for clear or warm days, then back on every evening. I don't think that's practical unless I heat-bend the PVC, or maybe use bent "EMT" elctrical conduit pipes.
The little quickie below has translucent plastic film draped over some wire fencing.
This message was edited Aug 29, 2012 3:13 PM
Thanks for the info. Is it enuf to just fold up the ends when it gets warmer?
I THINK so. But I worry about it. When the sky is clear and the sun hits a tunnel directly, the temp does seem to shoot up quickly.
But if both ends are open (especially open near the top of the tunnel where the heat collects), even a slight breeze should blow all the hot air out.
Of course, a short tunnel like 6 feet long will cool off faster than a 50-foot-long monster!
I used the longer PVC and rebar 18" length. I did not do the bending but my garden helper did. We first put in the rebar and then hooked the PVC on the rebar nearest the fence. He slowly bent it and attached it to the other piece of rebar. He told me he needed to heat it and I told him no he did not. He thought I was crazy but it is my garden so he did what I asked. It worked beautifully but I think because it was longer, made it easier.
My biggest problem was keeping the cover on it during our late winter, early spring high winds.
I have included a photo.
I wanted koops wioth a permanent bend, and looked into methods for heat-bending PVC. You don';t wnat it to buckle, sag, or bend unevenly.
Now I think I'll use metal "EMT" electircal conduit for permanently-bent hoops. I c an also make specificly-sloped roofs that way. For example, in one bed, I want a cold-frame-like shape that faces the sun as much as possible, and also throws water in just opne direction (towards the drainage trench).
But I have so many priojects in mind, and so little time, it might be years before I actually DO it!