How To Build A DIY Hoop House Tutorial

Ever wanted to continue gardening in the winter, and thought about building a DIY hoop house? This easy cattle panel hoop house is the perfect solution to your backyard growing problems! And the best part is you can make it for under $100 with just a handful of supplies and a little bit of help in around 30 minutes. 

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Gardening In A DIY Hoop House

Gardening in a hoop house opens up a world of opportunities for the backyard gardener or farmer allowing you to grow year-round. 

What Is The Difference Between A Hoop House And A Greenhouse?

Greenhouses and hoop houses or high tunnels are simple structures set on bare ground, greenhouses often have heating and cooling systems. While hoop houses don’t usually have these. Hoop houses usually have steel pole frames with 1-2 layers of greenhouse grade plastic over the top. 

How Does A Hoop House Work?

A DIY hoop house is a form of passive solar greenhouse that you plant directly into the ground but your crops are still protected from the elements and weather. Hoophouses are usually unheated and rely on the sun for heat and light. Hoop houses can extending your growing season in the colder months but can also be used to shelter plants from storms, harsh sun, and wind. They can also help prevent disease and pest damage to your crops. 

Does Your Hoop House Need To Be In Full Sun?

Your DIY hoop house needs as much sun as it can possibly get, especially if it’s unheated. Hoop houses rely on passive solar heat to keep your plants warmer and your plants will need sunshine to grow.

Which Direction Should Your Hoop House Face

When building your DIY hoop house for locations north of 40° latitude, assemble the ridge to run east to west. For locations south of 40° latitude, set it up so that the ridge should run north to south.

What Can You Grow In A Hoop House?

The possibilities of what you can grow in a hoop house are truly endless, from flowers to vegetables and everything in between including:

  • Beets
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Lettuce and Salad Mixes
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • and Turnips. 
  • Learn about more cold hearty vegetables you can grow. 

You can choose to plant your seedlings into the ground in your DIY hoop house or start your seeds for cold-hardy vegetables, flowers, and herbs in an unheated hoop house (usually safe to start your seeds anywhere in the US by February 15). 

How To Build A DIY Hoop House

If you’ve ever looked into buying a hoop house you know just how expensive they can be, which is what led us to build our own DIY hoop house. After some Pinterest searching, we finally decided on repurposing our cattle pannel trellises to make hoop houses for the winter months.

Supplies To Build A DIY Hoop House

Here’s what you need to build a DIY Hoop House:

  • 2 16 Foot Cattle Pannels
  • 2 Rolls Of 10×25 Feet of Medium-Heavy Duty Multi-Layer Plastic Sheeting 
  • Duct Tape
  • Twine
  • Rocks or scrap wood (to hold down the edges of the plastic)
  • Metal Stake or Wood stakes
  • 2 Scrap 2×4 
  • Metal staples (optional)

DIY Hoop House Tutorial

Place the 2x4s where your hoop house will be, the width you wish it to be. Secure them with the stakes.

Fold the cattle pannel between the two 2×4’s so that it fits snuggly. If you wish to you can use metal staples over the edge of the cattle panel to hold it better. 

Stretch out the sheets of plastic and duct tape the long sides together with a small overhang. 

Gently stretch the plastic over the top of the DIY hoop house so that the tape runs along the top from end to end. 

Secure the plastic to the ground, using scrap wood, or rocks. Attach twine to the bottom of the cattle panel and zig-zag back and forth across the hoop house to better secure the plastic. Make sure there are no gaps around the edges for the warmth to escape. 

Tips For Building A DIY Hoop House

Here are some tips for building your DIY Hoop House:

  • This is definitely a project you are going to need help with, two people can do it but three would be best when it comes to the taping part. 
  • Be careful stretching it over the ends of the cattle panel as they tend to be sharp. 
  • If the plastic does get torn you can use duct tape to fix it. 
  • If you are having an issue keeping the edges of the plastic down try using something like mulch around the edges. 

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