Your Fall Garden: Make a Hoop House to Extend Your Growing Season

 Don’t give up on your garden yet. It is still possible to have a great harvest for the rest of the year. You can easily extend your gardening season and grow more veggies longer when you use a hoop house.

When the heat is on outside, and you are spending your days sweating in your garden, it can be hard to think of frost, snow, and more. However, all good things come to an end, including summer’s heat and sun. However, that doesn’t have to mean the end of your garden and harvest for your family. It’s not hard to extend your growing season, either.

First, you need is to determine when you first frost date is. You can do this by going here and selecting your state and region. This will give you an idea of how long you have before frost, and when you should start your fall garden for a good harvest. You will want to plant at least 3-5 weeks before your first frost expected date. Some vegetables that are frost hardy to consider planting:

extend your growing season veggies

  • spinach
  • kale
  • radishes
  • brussels sprouts
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • collards
  • green onions
  • leafy lettuces
  • leeks
  • mustard greens
  • parsnips
  • rutabagas
  • swiss chard
  • parsnips
  • some peas

 

These vegetables can handle temperatures to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and some are even sweeter when they have experienced a light frost, such as brussels. You can also prolong your growing season of warm season vegetables by providing a cover for your garden. You can also use these in the early Spring to give you a jump start on your growing season for the Summer.

making a garden cover

Some quick methods to use to protect your plants:

  • throw and old sheet or blanket over the plants to cover them, adding bricks on the sides to keep frost out
  • use a “wall o water” around plants to protect stems and roots from frost
  • use plastic row covers to help provide easy access as well as protection.
  • make a cheap hoop house

We made a “hoop house” out of PVC pipe and 3mm plastic to help extend our growing season a bit. Here’s how we did it for under $60:

making a hoot house

  1. Start with 3 boards that are 2x8x12, making a rectangle out them.
  2. Line up two rectangles up side by side, about 6 inches apart
  3. Drill  3 3/4″ holes on the far sides.
  4. Place 3/4 inch PVC pipe into the holes, bending into a semi-circle.
  5. Attach a length of PVC pipe across the hoops to provide support. You can either drill a hole and use a screw to hold it into place, or you can attach with zip ties.
  6.  In the painting section of your local home supply store, look for 3mm plastic to cover the hoop frame with.  This will be the most expensive part, and was $40.
  7. Be sure to tuck the edges in, and hold down with either dirt on 2 sides or use cloth and bricks to keep the plastic level with the ground. This will keep frost out.

finished hoot house

 

You can use this for Spring and early Fall planting. When the temps get high, you can roll the plastic back to allow the plants to get air, and even remove the hoops and store for the next season.

What are you planting this fall? Be sure to pin this for later!

Extend Your Growing Season

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23 thoughts on “Your Fall Garden: Make a Hoop House to Extend Your Growing Season”

  1. I’d love to make little greenhouses like this! I hate feeling limited by the cold weather. My parents are the one with land so I’ve been hounding them to start their fall plants (I live 2 hours away). I found my way here through Green Thumb Thursday!

  2. Very cool! Our garden was an absolute disaster this year, but we’re planning on keeping it going into the fall. I’ll definitely have my husband check this out…he’s the green thumb of the family!

  3. How awesome! Actually I think this would also be perfect for our strawberry plant beds that always attract birds and small animals 🙂

  4. Suzi Satterfield

    What a cute and cost-effective little temporary greenhouse! I seriously wish that I could grow things. The sight of a garden in full swing is beautiful.

  5. That looks like a good simple design. I live in zone 7b and I often have fall veggies that are able to survive the winter and take off in the spring. With a hoop house I would have even more broccoli, kale, carrots, cabbage, etc make it through the winter. I will consider putting hoops up in late October. Thanks for sharing.

  6. So, I like the idea of the two rows covered by one set of hoops, but wondering how it worked out in practice? My husband thought it would be a pain to walk in between to collect veg. How did it turn out?

  7. Not sure if my last comment went through, so I’ll send again. I like the idea of 2 beds under one hoop, but how does it work in reality? My husband thought it would be a hassle to walk in between. We have one hoop already, which looks like the same height and I wouldn’t want to walk under it. How did it turn out?

  8. I’m hoping to build some this weekend! I do not have garden boxes like yours though and need to protect what I already have in the ground (lettuces, kale, potatos that I planted too late -oops- and possibly more if I can). I have a 5×35 foot row I’m hoping to cover. Have you seen this done without boxing it out? I’m having a little trouble finding good sources and am a newbie at this. Thanks for your great posts!

  9. Awesome idea!
    Thanks so much for joining Green Thumb Thursday. We hope to see you again this week

    Lisa

  10. How did you attach the top support? I can’t quite tell by looking at the picture. This might work for our existing raised beds (used 2x10x) that are 4 feet across. Very excited as I was just starting to think about how to extend our growing season – first frost is around 10/4.

  11. We did this with our bell-peppers and had them for 3 years. It was wonderful! I just had to prune them in early spring. Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  12. Great idea, I need to spend some more time prepping in my garden that’s for sure!

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  13. Good morning Heather. Just a note to let you know this post has been FEATURED today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Thank you for sharing with us! 🙂

  14. Didn’t read through all the comments…got a late start on my tomatoes in straw bales…plants are beautiful, but just now getting flowers and I don’t see any pollinators…just trying to figure out the best way to cover them for cooler weather….

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