Sunday, May 19, 2013

Building hoops for the garden...

I've subscribed to Mother Earth News and Hobby Farms for help in building this homestead with as few problems as possible.  Their magazines have really helped us in deciding what we can do and how to do those things we decide on.

Mother Earth's magazine showed how to build your own hoops for the garden.  We decided to see if they were what we needed.  Mother suggests using fencing for the hoops, so we hit the garden supply store and are going to try 4' range fencing with a 4x6 opening grid.  It is a medium-weight fence, so pliable, but strong.

I have to be able to lift the hoops so we decided on 2 4x10' "baskets" for each of the raised gardens.  We built the frame with 1/2" conduit bases, as it is light-weight for me.  The fence is then wired onto the frame. 

Made the hoops of different heights; lower for lettuces and low growing plants; medium high for peppers, bush beans and other medium growers.  Later, I figured I could use the 3rd small raised garden for zucchini and other high growers.

Each "basket" then had bird netting stretched over the top to keep birds, and small critters out of the garden.  Over that, I put an all-weather cloth to help warm the soil earlier in the season.  It proved hard to attach all this material.  Steve finally found that the non-porous pipe that comes with seeping watering systems worked well as the "clamp," though we'll see if it holds up through the season.

                                                 (Picture from the inside of the hoop)

Found that our nemesis, the wind, had other plans for the hoops as it is stronger than we figured and the result was hoops blowing off the garden beds, when the cloth is attached.  Only the covered low hoop tunnel, and hoops with no cloth, survived.

Tweaking to continue...

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