pgtruspace's blog

about things that interest me.

A Cheap Greenhouse

Simple hoop house.

hoop house

Hoop house, a cheap green house

Inside hoop house

A cheap Hoophouse

An inexpensive greenhouse that goes up fast is a hoophouse made up of PVC pipe and clear polyethylene covering .

This is  a rebuild of a hoophouse that I originally created in the winter of 96-97  and after 6 years removed when I built the main dugout greenhouse.

This year I recreated it with some improvements to reflect experience of the earlier use.

As before, this is a very nice place to work in the winter and early spring.  Also a great place to sit in and visit with friends when the weather is too nasty to be out in the nearby Veranda.


hoop house

hoop house hoop anchor

To create this hoop house, I used 1 and 1/4 inch PVC  schedule 40 pipe, 10 foot lengths, these were glued together with “T”s or “X”s and spaced 48 inches apart.

The hoops are anchored with 3/4 inch steel pipe driven into the ground on 48 inch centers in rows 12 feet apart.

By supporting the hoop ends 8 inches above the ground I raised the center of the hoop  to 7 feet of clearance under the stiffeners and made the house feel much larger. Lateral stiffeners are run from end to end to stabilize the ends and spread the loading in wind and snow. One on each side and one in the center. The hoop stiffeners are 2×8 – 48 inch long, cut to match the hoop curve, and “duck” taped to the hoops.

hoop house end clamps

After the ends are created and stabilized to be square and plumb, cover them with the sheet plastic and fix it with “duck” tape on or around the pipe and staple into any wood framing.  For best results tape the plastic and then staple through the plastic and tape. Only after every thing else is done do you attach the main covering.  It is best if you have help for this part as the wind will come up as soon as you start this.  If you tape and staple the covering to the windward side you can pull and attach the covering on the leeward side by yourself. Work from the center towards the ends to draw the covering smooth.

Note: the end clamps are made of 1 and 1/2 inch PVC scheduled 40 pipe split in half and screwed to the end hoops to clamp the end plastic and covering plastic tightly to the end hoops.

hoop house door

hoop house rug door

This door is a piece of old rug that is heavy enough to cover the doorway but can be moved or tied aside for ventilation. This place will get hot in late spring.

“DUCK” tape, cloth tape, originally made by the DUCK tape company now generally called duct tape as it is often used in duct work. you will need a large roll and the good stuff is worth the extra price.

After the covering is done, add wood battens to the stapled and taped edges to make the coverings wind tight around the bottom edges.

Cheap 6mil poly will last until the hot weather makes it brittle, good quality greenhouse coverings will last 5 years and cost about 3 times the cheap stuff. These hoops are the original ones. It is best to bend the hoops in warm weather as they are very hard to bend when cold.  pg

Planting Bed

Planting Bed

Update, February 2013 we removed the old disintegrating covering of polyethylene and covered with new “greenhouse covering” plastic. this should last several years. I am tired of replacing the covering after every summer.

As we are having problems with pocket gophers this added central planting bed is lined with 1/2 inch grid screen, galvanized steel. The rack will be used to provide support for crop to keep it off of the planting soil in the bed.

Greenhouse Covering

Greenhouse Covering

You can see that the new covering is much clearer than the old cheap polyethylene cover. It should also have a better transmittance of solar energy. We will see just how happy the plants are after a few months.  pg

Be sure to “click” on the pictures for a better view and more information in comments.  pg

7 responses to “A Cheap Greenhouse

  1. Zeke April 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    It looks like a good place to start some rose cuttings and read a book.

    The good life. (:

  2. p.g.sharrow April 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Too busy to read a book and I need the space for plants!
    Cuttings root best at 72 to 76 degrees F. and lots of light with very high humidity at first. After 7 to 10 days roots should start to appear but Roses can be hard to push past callus phase and may need over a month for rooting. pg

  3. Zeke April 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

    What are you planning to grow in this greenhouse?

  4. p.g.sharrow April 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    @Zeke asks”What are you planning to grow in this greenhouse?”
    Green stuff! 😎 Although as fast as spring is coming, I am way behind in my gardening.
    Spending all my time on the EMF device. Very ashamed of my gardens right now but the shell is ready to install foil as soon as it arrives and the great coil is installed, the primary coil is in and the twitch coils are nearly done. Time for a new post with pictures of the inside! pg

  5. adolfogiurfa April 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    A good greenhouse to keep the heat confined…

  6. piracetam February 26, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Almost everyone has a Duck Tape story to tell, usually praising its remarkable strength and versatility. Duck Brand duct tape has a wide range of applications, both traditional and nontraditional, and is now available in dozens of colors and patterns, making it even more useful than ever! Because of its strength and adhesive properties, you can use Colored Duck Tape for almost any job, including everyday household and auto repairs–anywhere a flexible and weather-proof bond is needed. Colored Duck Tape is great for coordinating materials, color-coding and identification, craft applications, and more. This heavy duty tape is cotton mesh reinforced, but still easy to tear! Duck Tape conforms to both smooth and uneven surfaces, and can be used on materials such as cloth, vinyl, leather and plastic – even metal and laminates. Each roll contains 1.88 inches x 20 yards of aqua colored tape. Duck Tape is great for any repair – anywhere!

  7. p.g.sharrow February 26, 2013 at 6:19 am

    @piracytam: spam but kind of good spam.
    Duck tape “duct tape” is one of my favorite, fix it, materials. Along with baling wire or baling twine. 😎 pg

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