Build your own hoop house greenhouse is today's topic. Matt tells us how to build a greenhouse out of pipe and plastic. He is building a hoop house greenhouse using off the shelf items to save money and its going well. Matt shares what he has learned in building a greenhouse that you can apply when you build your hoop house.
Matt is using fence pipe bought at the home improvement store. He says there are lots of good kits out there, but it gets expensive quickly, and half the fun of a hoop house greenhouse is in planning and building something you designed yourself. Matt saved quite a bit of money by going the DIY route and based his ideas on those of Eliot Coleman.
Why Build a Hoop House Greenhouse?
The motivation was to have better foods in the winter than is available at the grocery store in winter, as hoop houses allow you to extend your growing season.
Siting the greenhouse is important, Matt built his on a slight slope that faces south, and did a bit of leveling of the foundation. He used fence pipe driven into the ground to accept the top fence rail pipe that he had curved into the hoop shape. He chose not to use PVC pipe, thinking the metal pipe would be more sturdy. The curved pipes are spaced 2' apart. The jig he built to curve the pipe is a simple plywood curve, or a wood form. He found that curving the pipe to something slightly larger than the desired curve allowed the hoops to be slid into the base pipes with tension, helping to keep the pipes in the base pipes.
Matt has two large blue water barrels in the hoop house to create a thermal mass. The barrels absorb solar heat during the day, and give off that heat at night, helping to keep the hoop house greenhouse warmer. He decided to not use regular clear plastic, and opted for the UV stable greenhouse plastic available at greenhouse supply stores. He also used a channel system called willow wire to hold the plastic onto the hoop house frame. You can follow Matt and his adventures on Twitter here .