Living in Montana means you get a short growing season, usually around 4 months, if you are lucky! One way we use to help extend our season is by using hoop houses.
The nice thing about them is that they are easy to put up. I use rebar that was cut into 2 foot lengths at our local hardware store, and 3/4 inch PVC tubes that are 8 foot long.
Ha ha you can tell we have ducks. Our two little duck pools hang out in the garden in the fall also – making for happy little ducks! (Also, please don’t look at the mess around it, we are in the middle of fall clean-up.) Anyway, back to the hoop houses, the rebar stakes are pounded into the ground about a foot. I make each hoop 4-5 feet wide, the picture above is at 5 foot. Slip the PVC tube over one and pull it down over the rebar stake across from it. Then drape 6 mil plastic over them and secure them with clips. Some people use pvc that has one side trimmed out. I tried it and it was hard to get them on and off, so now I use clamps. The ends can be secured with bricks/large rocks.
Remember that the plastic needs to cover all sides. The picture above shows that we didn’t have a piece quite long enough so I used a smaller piece over the end. The plastic will also get rips in it. If they are small I take roll of packing tape to them just to get them to last a little longer. I also use a board in the middle so I can step into the bed without stepping in plants. And when the plants start coming up I will be covering the inside of the hoops with plant cover fabric for a little extra protection.
Also – NEED TO REMEMBER – they need to be vented every day, even if its cold out. They will get very warm once the sun comes out. They will also need to be cleaned off when it snows.
After having them for many years now, really the only problem I have noticed is that when it is windy I have to figure out how to vent without them flying away. Other then that they have been wonderful to have and use.
Hope you have a good day!
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