|Easy, Functional Hoop House|
Instructions by Bruce
My last two posts were about making a square foot garden: building the raised beds, and mixing the soil and planting. Today is the final chapter, on what it takes to sustain the garden: water, fertilizing, and temperature control. Making an inexpensive hoop house will allow you to plant earlier and get growing despite nighttime temperature dips. You can also use the hoop house to foil most bugs while providing the diffused lighting that seedlings prefer. I’ve also included a few tips on early-season garden maintenance. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
|Plastic Option Might Need Ventilation During Day|
Let us know with a comment if you have more advice for a DIY SFG!
1 – 20' piece ½" schedule 40 PVC tubing
Ratcheting PVC pipecutter or hacksaw
Yardstick or tape measure
Pencil or scribe
6 – ¾" pipe loops (strapping)
12 – ¾" #6 wood screws
Screwdriver bit for drill
~10' square sheet of 4 mil UV resistant plastic or white row cloth
Box (12) of large (2") binder clips or other clipping devices
Cut bell-shaped end off PVC pipe with pipecutter or hacksaw. Cut into 3 equal pieces, approximately 6.5' long.
Measure and mark the center of the longer sides of the raised bed. Attach pipe loops (strapping) to inside of bed, approximately 1" from top of board, driving wood screws with cordless drill. Add one loop on each end and one in the middle on each board.
Put one end of PVC pipe into pipe loop and bend to fit into pipe loop on opposite board. Repeat with other 2 PVC pipe sections. This is your hoop house frame.
Unfold plastic or row cloth and lift to cover bed over hoops. Clip in place with binder clips, a minimum of 3 clips on each end hoop. If your bed is in a windy area, you can also clip to the gopher wire on the bottom of the bed, or pull in the corners at the bottom and clip. Don’t pull the plastic tight, it needs to flex in the wind, otherwise it will rip.
Water check: test garden every day when plants are small (and before germination) to determine whether water is needed. Use a hygrometer, or just stick your finger 2” into the soil and see if it feels damp. If not, add water.
How to water: classic SFG procedure is to fill up a watering can and leave it in the sun to warm, and use that water in mid afternoon. In practice, you might need to check and water early in the morning before work. Don’t water in late afternoon or at night.
|Logging Max and Min Temps to See Trend|
|Our First Goal is Realized!|