mini hoop freeze protection how to make

Natilie70(z8 E Tx)November 15, 2012

Hi All - Decided late to try (first time) a fall garden. Helps when someone gives you a bunch of cabbage and broccoli plants. Have some lettuce and strawberry plants. OK - Strawberry plants should be under control. Been 30 here last 2 nights. Made me think. How is best way to make some mini hoop houses to protect the veggies. Naturally I did not think of all this when planted them. Just planted where I could at the time in the garden - so they are in 4 small groups plus a long row of cabbage. Thanks in advance.

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PKponder TX(7b)

We used 1/2 inch PVC pipe with the short rebar that you can buy for next to nothing at home depot to anchor them. You can buy the plastic drop cloth in rolls, we used both 4 and 6 mil but the 6 mil is considerably pricier. Anchor the bottom with bricks or stones and you can uncover on warm days in just a few minutes. I used a 'trouble' light (those aluminum shop type lights with a clamp that you can clamp onto the PVC) on really cold nights and kept many plants through a moderate winter or two.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:06AM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Thanks for the info PK - did you make medium height for broccoli size plants, tall to stand up in hoop houses or short ones like for lettuce ? Thanks for the mil thickness, was wondering which would be better. Oh, how far apart did you space the PVC hoops ?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:02AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

We weren't specifically just growing veggies although we did erect it over tomatoes and peppers...I'd guess that it was 4.5 to 5 feet tall. We placed the supports around 2-3 feet apart. Maybe that wasn't what you had envisioned.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Thanks Pam - Yes - for the Broccoli (hope it grows) I need about that tall so I can get to them. grin. I do have one pepper plant that I could like to salvage if the frost didn't get it last night under it's thin cover. It is too close to the metal sides and I probably can't save it. The lettuce I'll just make a short one. But 2 - 3' apart was what I was curious about especially. Thanks so much. Hope your project worked out like you wanted.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:50AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

My hubby made a cold frame for me a couple years ago with salvaged glass doors from a neighbor's remodel. I use that now and it works fabulously to protect potted plants that aren't taller than 3 feet. The double-paned glass door "lid" is quite heavy but we are looking for some type of lift assist like truck bed shells use. In the meantime, I just lift and lower it carefully. We have a nice crop of anoles and house geckos living in there right now :-)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

That's next on my wish list. Grin. The door would be heavy and with my luck I'd prop it up while I was doing something and bump the brace and have it fall on my head. ha ha
Did see a video last night where the guy made a lid using a polycarbonate doublewall panel. Planted an idea. He had also lined the little cold frame with that silver bubble wrap. Think he is in North Carolina. Standard small, probably 6" in the front and 12" in the back. Not as cool as yours, but OK for his lettuce and radishes and maybe carrots and something else I forget. I like your larger one better - more useful IMHO.
Planted more strawberries this afternoon.
Got the PVC pipes yesterday - work on that tomorrow. Hubby wanted to use elbows on the PVC. Got him to humor me finally and try bending the pipe to show him it will bend and be OK> But his idea will work nicely on the little lettuce bed.
The "Plan" is to be gone to the mountains in NM for the summer next year. After last year I now have trouble breathing when it gets up to 100. So am going to try to get some things started early (not good at that) and try to get some good veggies while we are still here. So the little houses I hope will help. I hope. I have tried to start things in the house before, but end up all leggy if they grow at all. I know, "operator error". Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:28PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I didn't see the video but it sounds good for those salad crops. I am no good at all with starting seeds indoors.

The PVC elbows are good too. We used those and tees to create a giant tomato support structure. It is not all that aesthetic though :-)

I hope you get to escape to cooler climes next summer and follow your plan.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:24AM
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