This hoop house is flexible, easy to set up, easy to take down, easy to store, and cheap. Yes please!
I got the idea from The Urban Gardening Handbook. I mean, binder clips? Awesome!
I found a huge roll of coated wire fencing in our shed, left behind from previous owners. So, that was free. The plastic sheeting over it is Reemay, a brand of floating row cover. Sun and rain can get through, but birds and bugs can’t. Also, torrential spring rains won’t wash away your seeds with this covering them! It also creates a slight greenhouse effect, which definitely helped with germination in cool Spring months! If you don’t want to buy a roll of wire fencing, you can sink short lengths of PVC pipe around the perimeter of your bed, and arch ling pieces of narrower PVC conduit pipe over the bed with either end in one of your anchor pipes.
Before I got the hoops built, I had the Reemay directly on the bed, weighted down with rocks. It’s really light- the pea sprouts underneath grew to be about 3 inches tall, and had no trouble lifting the Reemay as they grew!
To make the hoop house, I cut two six foot sections of the wire fencing, and arched them over my bed. The bed is 8 feet long, and about 2 1/2 feet wide, from outside edge to outside edge. The Reemay is about six feet wide (be sure and unfold it, there are lots of pleats to make it about 3 feet wide on the roll!). I cut it long enough to go the length of the bed, from ground level, over the hoop house. Then, a few well- placed medium binder clips to hold it against wind, and we’re in business!
I am hoping this set up keeps out the bunnies- we don’t have a lot, and they’re not terribly hungry or adventurous- our yard backs up to a greenbelt, and normally the bunnies contain themselves to our back lawn, or mustard garlic if it’s available. I actually considered leaving a patch of that invasive weed off to the side to see if it made an effective trap crop!
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