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Extending The Growing Season Using Hoop Covers

Extending The Growing Season Using Hoop Covers    

hoop covers in place

Hoop Covers In Place. 

In an effort to provide lettuce and mizuna (an Asian green) into the fall and hopefully longer, I built these two hoop covers. They are about 5X3 each and were made of 3 mil plastic from the ag supply store, some water pipe, small hinges, plastic ties, and some 2X2 lumber.

They were made to fit my existing boxes, so I measured first, then glued the rigid water pipe together. The pipe used was ordinary ¾ inch white plastic. I inserted T attachments about 12 inches apart, and angled them in slightly. I then cut the 2X2s up to fit and tied them to the pipe using plastic zip ties. Then I cut PEX water pipe, which is flexible, to fit and pushed the ends into the T pieces. They fit without using glue. The plastic sheeting was applied using staples to hold it together, and the ends were tied up. Thus far, the plastic has not pulled away from the staples.

Setting the covers on my boxes, I installed small hinges on one side so the covers could be opened.

T coupling with PEX attached

T coupling with PEX attached. Note plastic ties holding pipe to wood frame. Hinge can be seen immediately below frame.

Open to fresh air. open to fresh air

My hoop covers are located at the Southeast end of my house—this way they receive little wind. However, I installed large hooks and eyes to hold the covers closed.

hook and eye

Hook and eye to keep cover closed.

Here in Northeast Pennsylvania there have been several very cool nights already—I’m hoping for a continuing harvest of greens and will keep working as necessary. My parsley is beginning to go to seed, but much of it remains good. My peppers are continuing to produce as well. There was even one zucchini left, which I gave to a neighbor.