If you have ever wanted to extend your growing season past the first frost of the year, then a hoop house is an inexpensive way to create a greenhouse for winter gardening. You can put up a hoop house in one or two weekends with materials available at any hardware store. Make the hoop house any size you wish--whatever fits your budget.
Lay out a 12-foot section of 1-by-4 inch wood on a flat surface. Flex a section of pipe into a U shape and attach each end of the pipe to the end of the 1-by-4 with a wood screw. Create a doorway by attaching 1-by-3 boards to the interior of the PVC arch with wood screws.
Repeat to create a second doorway for the other end of the greenhouse. Reinforce the corners of the door with nylon zip ties around the joints.
Cut a 22-foot section of plastic from the sheet of greenhouse plastic. Staple the plastic to the 1-by-4 board at the bottom of your end piece. Wrap it over the top and sides of the arching roof. Staple the plastic to the 1-by-3 boards. Trim away plastic from the doorway. Leave enough plastic so that you can fold it double, wrap it back behind the door and staple it in place. Trim away any excess plastic from the door.
Repeat to wrap your second doorway in plastic.
Drive T posts into the ground at the entrance points to your door. Place the end walls of your greenhouse against these T posts and secure in place with nylon zip ties.
Drive lengths of rebar into the ground on each side of the greenhouse every 3 feet.
Flex each section of conduit into an arch and place the ends over the rebar pins.
Attach a 2-by-6 ridge pole to the center arch of the greenhouse with wood screws. This will keep the greenhouse from sagging and collapsing in heavy rain or snow.
Attach 16-gauge utility wires to each lintel corner. Run the wire from the lintel corner across the ridge poles and to the corner on the ground of the opposite doorway. The wire should crisscross into an X brace over the center side walls of the greenhouse.
Cut greenhouse plastic to fit over the walls of the greenhouse. Staple the bottom edges of the plastic to 2-by-2 boards. Slip the plastic over the roof of the greenhouse. Roll the ends of the greenhouse plastic and staple them to the braces of the greenhouse ends.
About this Author
Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."