Friday, June 1, 2012

Mini-Hoop House

          Out here in the Black Hills, the growing season is significantly shorter than what I was used to in Kansas.  To help give my tomatoes a head start, and to protect them from the constant winds, I built a mini-hoop house.

          First I set out my plants to see how big of an area I would need.  You may notice that these are store bought.  My plants from seed were knocked over when the wind decided to move my hot house across the yard.  Anyway, back to business.  I purchased 1/2 in. pvc pipe for the frame. 

         For the stakes, I cut apart old, heavy duty fence pieces that were laying around the property.  Make sure that you have several inches (I had about 6" per piece) going into the ground and         

about 4" to support the pipe.  The longer the piece going into the pipe, the less it will lean.  I kept a piece sticking off the side of each stake to prevent it from working it's way into the ground. 

         I  pounded the steaks into the ground and then planted my plants.  The hoop house is about 6 feet long and 4 feet wide.  At it's highest point, it is just over 3 feet tall.

          Getting the plastic spread over it was a two person job, at least with the wind.  I cut small slits all the way around to allow for ventilation.

          Here she is!  I used heavy rocks to hold it down.  Our next step it to install drip irrigation so I don't have to crawl inside to water.  Thank goodness our garden has stayed weed free, or I'd have to crawl in there to weed too.

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Homestead Barn Hop

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