You’d think making hoops for hoop houses (aka mini greenhouses) would be easy but initially, they are not. I bought a hoop bender several years ago from Johnny’s Seeds and made about 30 hoops for my garden and to sell to other gardeners. Fast forward two years and I’ve sold all my hoops and need some more for my community garden and the one I run at our church.
My garden partner Susan and I finally got together to accomplish this task and once we got all our materials together — a pack of 10 ft long 1/2 inch electrical conduit, a work table with the hoop bender attached, tape measure, sharpie and work gloves, we realized that we needed a refresher. We watched the video on Johnny’s website several times and logged onto YouTube to watch a few more. We tested out the directions and had a few false starts. How hard can it to create 4 foot wide hoops to fit over a 4 X 4 or 4 X 8 raised bed?
Here’s what we learned:
- Mark each tube 16 inches from both ends and in the middle
- Insert the tube into the metal sleeve at the end of the hoop bender and line up with the 16 inch mark
- Bend the tube along the curve and then, line the middle mark up with the middle screw and bend along the curve
- Take the tube out and repeat on the other side — line up at the 16 inch and middle mark
- Measure the distance between the two ends to make sure they are just over 48 inches apart and try out in the raised bed to make sure it works
If you have a big garden, its worth it to make your own hoops. I bought the bender on sale for about $45 and the electrical conduit is about $2.50 a tube at Home Depot. There are always fellow gardeners who want hoops so you can make extra to share. Once we figured out the right method, it took us 15 minutes to bend ten hoops.
Another relevant article:
Extending the Season with Hoop Houses
In my travels, I visit gardens of all shapes and sizes and take tons of photos. Always excited to visit my friends’ gardens, attend garden tours and visit local botanical gardens, I just love to pick up new ideas and think about how I might apply new designs or planting combinations in my own gardens. I am often as envious as I am inspired. Here is a collection of some of the gardening ideas I admire:
Teri’s tomatoes were protected from early season hail under the hoops. They are so tall and healthy.
Dale’s potted tomatoes and trellised vegetables. Its a marvel what he accomplishes in a side yard.
My neighbors at Rosedale in 2014, Diane and Johanna Montague, had such a perfectly orderly spring garden. Beautiful!
Christine’s garden was already chock full of produce in late May – garlic, kale, berries, onions, greens, herbs. I loved how she used every square inch and had seedlings growing in egg cartons ready for hot season crops. Easthampton, MA
An attractive solution to keeping the wildlife from eating the produce.
At Nate and Ashley’s 2013 wedding in New Richmond, WI, the reception was held at a local farm. The little garden next to the house was surrounded by flowers and very organic in it design.
My friend Mary’s squashes were trellised on these cool wooden structures. Hartland, WI. July 2017
Centennial Gardens, University of Wisconsin, Madison. I love the order of this planter although I am realistic enough to know that my plants won’t conform to such order.
Raised bed for greens is a great idea. Centennial Garden, UW-Madison
Love the trellis ideas here. Centennial Gardens, UW Madison
I love the idea of a garden right outside the front door. The log Adirondack chairs, prayer flags and hollyhocks in the background all create a lovely vignette. Steamboat Springs Garden Tour, 2013.
Spring Garden with lots of space to grow up. Spinach in the foreground with tomatoes in wall of water. Ute Trails Garden, May 2017
Colorful Pot, Grand Lake Lodge
Perennials in a wine barrel, Nancy Sanchez
Susan MacNicholas is the Sale Coordinator
Each summer, Rosedale Community Garden hosts a big harvest and yard sale in late August which is often followed by another harvest sale in late September. This summer, the two sales were consolidated into one big event on September 19. The event brings together Rosedale’s large community of gardeners and showcases what we do best — organic vegetables, fresh cut flowers, heirloom garlic, children’s activities, yard sale treasures, bakery, jams and booths featuring jewelry, Earthlinks and local crafts. Kudos go to this year’s organizer, Susan MacNicholas, for successfully bringing together many diverse elements and people. What a great day! The photos I share capture the essence of this beloved community event.
Friday Night Tagging Party
This event enables gardeners to drop off their yard sale items the afternoon/evening before the sale and brings together a team to sort and tag in preparation for the next day. Having the opportunity to sort through the merchandise, enjoy good company and pizza and beer on a pleasant night in the garden is incentive for many to turn up to help.
On this brisk sunny autumn morning, the crews started to assemble at 7 and by 9 am, the tables, tents, merchandise and volunteers were all set up and ready for business. The day was perfect with sunshine and steadily warming temps and a steady stream of neighborhood customers. By 2 pm, the ARC truck arrived to pick up the spare yard sale items and the the break down crew was busy putting everything away.
Dave Conant, Emeritus leader of Rosedale Garden and founder of our Project Angel Heart donation program.