Extending the Season With a Hula Hoop Row Cover

hula_hoop row cover 2 300.jpgExtending the gardening season with row covers is a practical way to provide yourself with fresh produce on both ends of the season-early and late. Whether you are itching to get out there and get a jump on the season or wish to put a cover over salad greens to protect them from frost, there are various row covers and low tunnel products available to help do just that. You don’t have to fork over a lot of cash to get a low tunnel quickly set up in the garden.

Those plastic hula hoops we all played with as children make dandy arches for a low tunnel. This project is easy for anyone and requires few tools. With the resurgence of “hooping” the necessary items are readily available.

  • (5) 2′ -3’ lengths of rebar available at a building supply center
  • 1 hula hoop
  • Polyethylene sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • PVC pipe (small diameter), broom handles, anything that can be used to span the distance and provide support
  • Logs, cement blocks or boards for weights

hula hoop row cover300.jpgDetermine the width of the row and pound 2 pieces of rebar into the ground about 10” deep on either side of the row. Measure the PVC pipe/support. Use that measurement to calculate the distance to the next pair of rebar supports. Pound that pair in on each side of the row. Cut the hula hoop in half. Take one half and push the open ends down over the rebar forming an arch. Repeat with the other half.

Set the pole/pipe on top of the arch. Tape securely. Pound the 5th piece of rebar under the pipe about midway down the row and tape the rebar to the pipe. Cut a piece of polyethylene long enough to completely cover the hoop and the ends. Make sure it’s wide enough to be securely weighted on both sides and the ends. Use cement blocks, long pieces of wood or whatever is handy to keep firmly weighted down.

Monitor the hoop and uncover during fair days or the plants inside will overheat and die.

How do you extend season?

This post may be shared with some or all of the following blog hops:  The Homesteaders Hop, Homestead Barn HopThe Backyard Farming Connection, Wildcrafting WednesdayFrugal Days, Sustainable WaysThe HomeAcre Hop, From the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl Friday, The 104 Homestead Blog Hop, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays. Thank you for generously hosting link-ups.



Extending the Season With a Hula Hoop Row Cover — 8 Comments

  1. What a great idea! I was thinking of using pvc to cover one of my beds, but that can be difficult to bend. I like the hula hoop idea. I bet it is less costly as well. BTW, I found you through The 104 Homestead Blog Hop.

    • Where I live a hula hoop is more expensive than pvc pipe. I can get 3 garden hoops out of a length of 1″-1 1/2″ pvc and pay less than half the price. But, next time I find one of the grandkids hula hoops just lying around it’s going to work out in the garden. 😉

      • Funny, that will teach those kids to leave their stuff laying around when they see it incorporated into Grandma’s Garden. I bought dollar store hoops, but it was about four years ago. I don’t know how the price compares, now. I have difficulty bending PVC. Thanks for commenting.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes, the hoops are much easier to bend. I just bought cheap dollar store hula hoops.

  2. I’m so glad you posted this! I saw hula hoops at the Dollar Tree awhile back and wondered if it was possible to use them for row cover frames. Now I know it can be done! Might even help keep chickens and deer out too. 🙂

    • It is easier for me to cut and bend the hula hoops than to work with PVC.

  3. Instead of pvc I use the grey 1/2″ plastic electrical conduit. It comes with a flared end so I just use the bandsaw and cut off 5″ and mount the 5″ pieces to the outside of my raised bed. I use 5″ of 3/4 PVC for the other side then just stick the remaining conduit into the flared end and bend it over and stick it in the 3/4 pvc. Easy to bend and is suposed to be more UV resistant so should last for years. Metal Plumbing tape and a couple of screws for mounting and done. For attaching the plastic sheeting I use the large binder clips from Office Depot. Easy to attach and detach or move as needed. The conduit is about .30 cents cheaper then 1/2″ pvc per stick.

    • Thanks, Dale for showing us another way to achieve the same thing. Using the conduit makes it easier to customize it to your bed size. I’m a little lost on the 5′ of 3/4 PVC. Where is that positioned?