HOMEGROWN101: How to Build a Hoop House


Looking to extend the life of your beds into the fall and winter? Hoping to grow produce year round, or protect your plantings from some of nature’s harshest conditions?  Why not try a hoop house!

 Tomato Hoophouse 

Photo by Paul Drowns 

Hoop houses provide extra heating units needed potential year-round growing.  Imagine earlier starts for your seeds, and later finishes of at least 4-6 weeks of extra production in spring, fall, and winter months.  Plus, the protective plastic sheeting provides shields damaging winds, flooding, and drought as the conditions in the hoop house can be controlled with simple coverings (try 50% shade cloth in the summer, and inner layers of plastic in the winter for extra warmth), ventilation, and irrigation systems.  

There are no set plans for a hoop house.  The dimensions of your structure are determined by the specific needs and desires of each grower.  All it takes to build your own hoop house is a little basic carpentry, patience, and some creativity.  The hoop house differs from the greenhouse because it usually has no heating system or ventilation fan.  The house is heated by solar energy and is cooled by the wind.  Proper ventilation and a small heater can help to control growing. 

Hoop houses are constructed with a series of large hoops made of a variety of materials – from PVC piping and rebar stakes to saplings and bedsprings, fiberglass rods, rubber tires, metal, and more – that are covered with greenhouse plastic, which is stretch snugly over the hoop frame and fastened to baseboards.  Some designs include a mechanism for creating plastic sides with the ability to be rolled up for easy access to plant.

Karla Davis
10/28/2011 8:38:55 PM

What are you doing to 'work the clay' in Georgia? I'm just beginning this and having come from the midwest, this isn't earth... it's what they make bricks out of!

9/30/2011 11:25:09 PM

I think that this is a great idea and will start mine next weekend. I still have some time because I live in GA

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