Tag Archives: soil warming

Warming the soil – Make a hoop house!

I wanted to get a jump start on planting some vegetables and so I needed to warm the soil.  The best way I could think of was to build a hoop house.  I was surprised at how easy it was to erect the hoop house and relatively inexpensive.

Hoop House on a raised bed.
Hoop House on a raised bed.

Here are the supplies you need:

3/4 inch PVC pipes  (about $3.00 apiece)  I used 3.  These come in 10 foot lengths

1/2 inch wide-12 inch metal stakes – “rebar stakes”  (about $ .60 apiece) I used 6

4 or more Metal clamps  ($2-3 apiece)  

3 mil Clear Plastic sheeting   ( about $15.00- and I have a lot to spare for other projects)

8 Heavy stones

Pound in the metal stakes at an angle, then place the PVC pipe over the stakes to make a hoop.   The closer you put the stakes to each other, the taller the hoop house, but PVC has a limit to how much bend you can put on it before it will break.  Trust me on this, I know from experience!   My hoops are about 3 feet tall, the stakes are about 8 feet apart. I hooped a raised bed that measures 8×8 feet, using 3 PVC pipes.

Drape the poly sheeting over the hoops, clamp each corner down with the metal clamps.  For the rest of the edges, I weighted them down with large stones – but you could use more clamps.

Add a thermometer to keep track of the temperatures inside.  This weekend, my hoop house got very warm- about 85 degrees! I planted several seed tapes (see previous post about making your own seed tape) in the hoop house and watered them well.  It shouldn’t be long and I will have a green garden of carrots, beets, romaine and arugula!