How to Build a HINGED HOOPHOUSE for a Raised Bed Garden

Building a hinged hoophouse for a raised bed garden is an excellent way to extend your growing season and protect your plants from adverse weather conditions. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you construct a functional and durable hinged hoophouse for your garden:

Materials Needed:

  • PVC pipes (1/2 inch or 3/4 inch diameter)
  • PVC pipe fittings (elbows, tees)
  • Plastic sheeting or greenhouse film
  • Hinges
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw (for cutting PVC pipes)
  • Zip ties or clips
  • Lumber (for the frame, optional)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Measure and Plan:
    • Measure the dimensions of your raised bed to determine the size of your hoophouse.
    • Decide on the height and width of the hoophouse arches based on the types of plants you want to grow and the space required.
  2. Cut the PVC Pipes:
    • Cut the PVC pipes to the desired lengths for the arches. Typically, the length should be 1.5 to 2 times the width of your raised bed.
    • Cut additional PVC pipes to serve as the horizontal supports.
  3. Assemble the Hoops:
    • Bend the PVC pipes to form arches and insert the ends into the ground or into the corners of the raised bed.
    • Use PVC pipe fittings (elbows and tees) to connect horizontal support pipes along the length of the bed, adding stability to the structure.
  4. Attach the Plastic Sheeting:
    • Drape the plastic sheeting or greenhouse film over the PVC frame, ensuring it covers the entire structure.
    • Use zip ties or clips to secure the plastic sheeting to the PVC pipes. Make sure it is taut but not overly stretched.
  5. Build the Hinged Frame:
    • If desired, construct a simple frame from lumber that fits the dimensions of your raised bed. This frame will serve as the base to which the hoophouse is attached.
    • Attach hinges to one side of the frame and secure them to the PVC structure, allowing the hoophouse to be easily opened and closed.
  6. Secure the Hoophouse:
    • Attach the hoophouse frame to the raised bed using screws. Make sure the hinges are properly aligned and the structure can open and close smoothly.
    • Ensure the plastic sheeting is secured to the frame and not just the PVC pipes, to prevent it from being blown away by wind.
  7. Finishing Touches:
    • Add any additional support or reinforcement as needed. This could include extra horizontal or diagonal bracing.
    • Trim any excess plastic sheeting to ensure a neat appearance.

Tips for Success:

  • Ventilation: Ensure your hoophouse has adequate ventilation. You can install vents or simply open the hoophouse on warm days.
  • Durability: Choose UV-resistant plastic sheeting for longer-lasting protection.
  • Accessibility: Make sure the hinged design allows for easy access to your plants for watering, pruning, and harvesting.

By following these steps, you can build a functional and durable hinged hoophouse for your raised bed garden, providing your plants with protection and extending your growing season. This structure will not only safeguard your garden but also enhance its productivity.

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