The Hinged Hoop House 2.0

The hinged hoop house version 2.0.  Bigger and better than before.

Hinged hoop house sits on raised bed in large garden with blue skies in the background.

Skip right to the instructions.

 

If you were hanging around here a year ago you saw me give birth to my original hinged hoop house. I say give birth because I was as proud of it as most women are of their first born. Also it took around a day and a lot of grunting to bring it into the world.

But as one does with their first child, I made a lot of mistakes. Mistakes I was able to rectify with the second!  Version 2.0 of the hinged hoop house is very similar to the first, with a few changes. Last year I found my original hoop houses weren’t quite tall enough to accommodate a full grown black kale or Brussels sprouts plant. Not that I really care about the Brussels sprouts, I hate them, but I grow them because they look pretty and it’s hard to look pretty when you’re all hunched over and bent.

I also had some holes chewed into the netting over the winter by delinquent voles or mice and to replace the netting I would have had to unscrew all kinds of wood pieces that I had used to secure the netting in the Hinged Hoop House version 1.0  So I rethought that and came up with what I think is a really good solution.

The original was also a tiny bit wiggly so I beefed it up a little and improved on the top cross bar that holds everything steady.

All of the materials I’ve listed are available at a regular hardware store, other than the extra wide insect netting, which I’ve linked to on Amazon.

Ready for it?

Hinged Hoop House 2.0

Materials –  (For an 8’x4′ raised bed.)

8′ lengths of 2x4s, (3)

4′ length of 2×2, (1)

10′ lengths of 1/2″ Schedule 40 electrical conduit, (6)

Clamps for 1/2″ conduit, (12)

3-4 hinges

24″ lengths of chain, (2)

1/2″ PVC “Ts”, (2)

1/2 ” PVC cross, (1)

Insect netting, (wide and long enough to cover completed hoops)

Handle

Variety of screws

Screwdriver or drill

Partial list of supplies needed for building a hinged hoop house laid out on soil, including 2x4s, conduit, clamps and connectors.

You’ll find the white PVC fittings in the plumbing aisle of the hardware store and the grey, conduit and fittings in the electrical aisle.

Some of the hardware needed to build a hinged hoop house set on 2x4s including conduit clamps, a handle, hinges, pvc connectors and chain.

I need another hinge, because you should really use 3 or 4 but I only had 2 in my stash so I’ll add another one when I go to the hardware store and pick another couple up.

Instructions

  1. Cut your 8′, 2×4’s to the length and width of your current raised bed.

Karen Bertelsen assesses her tools laid out on a garden potting bench before building a hinged hoop house. Blue skies seen in the background.

2. Lay all your cut 2×4 pieces on your raised bed and screw them together.

Karen Bertelsen in a large garden screwing together a frame to support a hinged hoop house to protect vegetables from insects.

3. For added strength and to prevent any warping screw a 2×2 into the centre of the frame.

Karen Bertelsen kneeling down to screw in a support bar across the frame of a hinged hoop house she's building in a large garden.

3. Screw in your hinges.

Karen Bertelsen screws hinges into the long end of a hoop house frame to allow it to open and close.

4. Cut 3 of the electrical conduit into 57″ lengths.  This will create hoops that are tall enough for kale, pepper plants and brussels sprouts. If you’re growing lower things like cabbage, you can shorten the lengths of your conduit for lower hoops.

Hinged hoop house frame build, with lengths of electrical conduit laying across the top, ready to be attached.

5. Screw the plastic clamps to the inside of the 2×4 frame. Each section of pipe will have 2 clamps holding it in place.  Screw the top clamp in first.  To get a straight line between two clamps, insert a piece of pipe into the top clamp and then screw in the bottom clamp around the pipe, like you see below.

Screwing electrical conduit clamps into the 2x4 frame of a hinged hoop house with big blue skies overhead.

6. Once all your clamps are in, attach 2 pieces of your 57″ pipe at the centre using a PVC T.  You can glue these, but I didn’t in case I wanted to change things.  Stick one end of the pipe into its clamps then slowly and carefully bend the pipe to fit in the opposite clamps. Pay attention to your PVC T and make sure it’s sitting straight, ready to accept the top horizontal rail later on. (you don’t want it pointing up or down)

Karen Bertelsen bends electrical conduit into place in clamps on the interior frame of a hinged hoop house.

7. Screw the pipe into the frame to keep it from slipping up or down.

Electrical conduit secured with clamps and a screw keeps hoops of the hinged hoop house from shifting.

8. Continue doing this until all your hoops are built and secured.  For the middle hoop you’ll be using the PVC cross, as opposed to the PVC T.

Karen Bertelsen in Blue Jays t shirt bends conduit into place on a hinged hoop house she's building in a large garden.

9. Measure the space between the top of the hoops and cut 2 lengths of conduit to create the top bar across the hoop house.

 

Midway through building a hinged hoop house in a large community garden, the frame is built and the hoops are in place waiting for the cross bar to be put in place.

10. Insert the 2 pieces of newly cut conduit across the top of the hoops, inserting it into the PVC Ts and PVC cross.

Completed hinged hoop house in a large community garden, waiting for the last step, placing insect netting around it.

11. Cut your final 2 lengths of conduit to 8′ long (or however long your frame is) and screw it onto the outside of both long ends of the frame like you see above.  You’ll use these to clip the netting to once it’s on.

12. To hold the bunched up sides of the net in place I used a piece of 1″ conduit and a piece of old garden hose. You’ll see how it holds the netting in a second.  This is the one area of the hoop house that could be improved upon and probably will be.  I just used the spare materials I had at the garden to make it work.

***I’ve left these things out of the materials list because they were weird random things I found and I’m sure you can make something similar work out of your own garbage***

A 5" piece of 1" pipe attached to the outside end of a hoop house frame, secured with a small length of garden house screwed around the pipe like a clamp.

13. Drape your netting over the hoop frame.  Do NOT attempt to do this on a windy day by yourself; it will end with tears and parasailing.

Laying lightweight insect netting over the frame of a hinged hoop house in a large garden.

 

 

14.  Clip the netting to the lengths of conduit on the outside of the frame. I just used plant clips that I got at Dollarama but I’ve ordered these clips from Amazon which will be a bit more discrete and a bit stronger.

I could have used this same technique for the sides of the hoop house instead of what I scrabbled together but I was worried that becaase there’s so much extra fabric on the ends of the hoop house that it would be difficult to fold it all together neatly.  I think I was wrong.  I may still try to do the ends the same as I did the sides.

 

15. Twist the netting together tightly on the ends and slip it through your small piece of 1″ tube (or whatever you decide to use).  You’ll have to pull it tightly and work it through.  Once it’s through, pull the netting so it’s even and then tie the end in a knot so it can’t slip out.

This is the side section I mentioned could be improved upon for holding the side of the netting. It’s a bit inelegant but it works. The fabric has to be held tight but I wanted something that was also easy to remove if I have to change out the netting.

 

Securing netting at the side of the hinged hoop house with a tube and garden hose.

14.  Attach a length of chain between the raised bed frame and the hinged hoop house. This will hold the lid open when you lift it and prevent it from tipping all the way over to the ground.

TIP:  You can also get fancy and use gas struts. I may do that in the future.

Chain used to hold open the heavy frame of a hinged hoop house runs from the raised bed frame to the hoop house frame.
15. Add a handle for opening and closing the frame.

Your hinged hoop house is built!

The best defence against cabbage moth and other insects, a hinged hoop house sits in a large garden plot waiting to be planted with vegetables.

Now all that’s left to do is fill it with vegetables.  Pepper plants will be going in this one.  Have you ever grown peppers that you thought were perfect, but when you cut them open you realized they were rotted on the inside and mushy? That’s from the pepper maggot. A fly lands on the pepper plant when it’s very young and lays an egg under the skin of the pepper. That egg hatches into a maggot which lives in and consumes the entire inside of your pepper until it rots, and the maggot eats its way out of the pepper. This hoop house prevents all that.

This hoop house is much heavier to open and close than the first one was because it’s made with 2x4s instead of 2x2s, plus it has the wood cross bar. I’d estimate it weighs about 20 pounds.

To prevent critters from gnawing away on the netting in the winter it’s very easy now for me to remove the netting for the season. It wasn’t easy with the first version of this hoop house.   I can also, if I want, just prop open the lid so any critters can come and go easily without chewing through anything in the winter.  I wasn’t smart enough to think of that logical solution myself, an Instagram reader said that’s what I should do.

Otherwise leaving the netting on wasn’t a problem. Snow just slid right off of it.

Oh.  And because I’d done it once already it took a lot less grunting and time to bring this second one into the world. As is often the case.

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The Hinged Hoop House 2.0