Low Tunnel Construction: How to Build a Mini Hoop House


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.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters