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The pods have descended

November 8, 2010

Just in time for winter, a rambling post about mini greenhouse pods:

The little one, over the small 2×8 lettuce bed

And the first larger one, over one of the 4×16 beds.

The frost killed the last of the tomatoes this weekend. (About time eh?)

I removed the vines, cages and trellis, cleaned all remnants of fallen leaves a tomatoes from the soil surface then worked in some more composted dairy manure. This bed has a lot of open room in it and I will transplant the latest lettuce and spinach starts into it for the winter. There already is a stand of lettuce and a few odd broccoli plants. I almost forgot, there is a little Chinese kale, whatever that turns out to be.

The mechanics of setting up a low tunnel or mini hoop-house is pretty simple.
Buy one 10′ section of 1″ PVC and cut it into 10 1′ sections.
Buy 5 10′ sections of 1/2″ pvc and cut a foot off the end of each to leave 9′.
Using electrical conduit brackets, secure the foot long sections of 1″ PVC evenly along the outside of the bed
bend the 5 9′ sections of 1/2″ pvc into the 1″ sections you just fastened to the bed.

There you have it- a covered wagon frame ready for 4 mill contractors plastic.

The plastic is 12′ wide so it amply covers the hoops.

Pull it tight, tuck it in and weight with bricks (for now) and you have a tidy cover for nights below freezing. While the fall/winter garden plants can mostly tolerate a little frost, this keeps the ground warmer and helps them along a bit (and for a bit longer).

BTW I removed the cover before I went to work (it went from 28 to 71 today and the “greenhouse effect” would cook the plants eventually).

(The smaller bed cover’s frame was a little simpler- I cut a 10′ piece of 1/2″ pvc in half, then drove 4 short pieces of scrap rebar into the ground near each corner, then threaded the pvc over the ends of the rebar.)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2010 1:08 pm

    Awesome job. Mel would be proud. I procrastinated and found myself running around last Friday trying to frantically beat the frost. Of course being unprepared I had no PVC or contractor’s plastic. So, I mulched everything with straw. And I think I told you about the wire cages I made for most of my beds. Well, I found a plastic drop cloth in the garage from an old painting project. I covered the big bed with that. Also on some of my other plants I cut the tops off some 2 liter bottles and turned them upside-down over my plants. It worked! I’ll have to pick up some PVC and contractor plastic for the long haul, but I was pretty happy with using what I had laying around since it was just one night.

    • November 9, 2010 7:52 pm

      Sometimes last year i used drop cloths, straw and even cardboard boxes. all worked.

  2. Mr C. permalink
    November 9, 2010 2:17 pm

    I want to see a picture of Mrs. cohutt–standing; alive & well.

  3. November 9, 2010 6:03 pm

    I’ve done the brick thing and didnt like it Try 5-6′ lengths of 1/2″ rebar instead of bricks. Less likely to tear the plastic, seals against the ground it’s entire length, and is much easier to pull off quickly.

    • November 9, 2010 7:53 pm

      Thanks, I was thinking that might work, the far end is “sealed” with one of the heavy digging bars.


  1. Winter gardening and makeshift poly tunnel construction « Behind cohutt's fence

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