Low Tunnel Construction: How to Build a Mini Hoop House

| 3/1/2013 12:32:32 PM

Tags: winter gardening, low tunnel, hoop house, season extension, Doug S.,

If you’re interested in having fresh spinach, lettuce, chard, or any other cold-hardy crop on hand late into winter or early in spring, you should build a low tunnel or two (also called a mini hoop house). These easy to build, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive structures can extend your growing season by several weeks, if not months depending on your region. Plus, they can be built in only about an hour.

If you build just one low tunnel, it will cost you about $58.00 in materials. However, you’ll be left with an extra piece of plastic sized perfectly to make a second low tunnel, which would only run you about $53.00 extra. If that sounds too costly for your tastes, you could always substitute the 1”x2”x10’s in my materials list with some cheaper wood or scrap wood you might have on hand, and that could save you about $27.00 dollars per low tunnel. Also, if you own your own electric hand grinder, you could purchase the rebar in longer lengths and cut them to size, which would save you about 42 percent, or $5.00 per low tunnel.

Mini Hoop House 

Here are step-by-step instructions of how to build a low tunnel. The end product will measure roughly 9’4”L x 3’W x 20”H, which I should note is one hoop shorter in length than the version seen in my photos (I made my first low tunnel a little too long, which left my remaining piece of plastic a bit undersized. That’s not a problem, per se, except that one would end up with two different sized low tunnels if you made two.)

Tools You’ll Need: 

Screw gun
Drill bit for predrilling screw holes
Staple gunBox knife
Hammer or sledge hammer
Tape measure
Pencil or marker

3/9/2013 4:35:09 AM

I have got to give this a try!

Terry Jackson
3/9/2013 12:02:13 AM

texas wind loves these things

Charles Bingham
3/8/2013 5:01:33 PM

Why not just stick the PVC in the ground, the lumber will support it, if the PVC is put on the inside of frame. That is how I have been doing it on my raised beds.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!