Build a Mini PVC Pipe Garden House
For the past few years I’ve had trouble with birds (and my own chickens) getting into the garden and eating tender vegetable plants as they emerged from the soil. I wanted to install a hoop house, the kind I’d seen in magazines or while driving back country roads, but they were too large for one person to manage and too expensive for my limited budget.
I wanted something lightweight, easy to move and something I could make myself with supplies I might already have on hand.
I looked around the farm to see what I could use and hoped that an idea would come to mind. Sure enough, it did. As I stared at my raised beds I thought of a mini greenhouse type structure that could be draped with bird netting in the growing season and float cloth or plastic to extend my plantings.
Here’s what I came up with:
A PVC frame that fits over my 4’x8’ raised beds and is held in place by “C” brackets screwed to the wooden vegetable bed frame. A 10’ piece of PVC runs the length of the uprights to keep the covering draped properly over the frame. At ground level it can be tacked to the wooden vegetable bed or covered with dirt or rocks to keep it from blowing off.
How I made it:
I cut 4 pieces of PVC pipe 2 feet long; two for the sides and two, half the width of the vegetable bed, to make the peaked top. This would be wide enough to reach across the bed and give good clearance for taller plants like lettuce, broccoli or tomatoes. I then assembled the greenhouse frame using 45 degree PVC pipe fittings (these were on hand, but 90 degree might work better on the legs). Once I tested the greenhouse, to see if it did what I thought it would, I glued all the pieces together. I made 3 frames for each 8’ bed.
To install my newly made mini-greenhouse, I screwed “C” brackets into the vegetable bed frame about 6-inches from each end and in the middle of the bed (about the 4’ mark), I then zip tied a 10’ piece of PVC pipe down the middle to keep the peaks upright and to keep any covering from falling in on the plants.
In less than an hour, using the supplies I had on hand, I made enough frames to cover four of my eight vegetable beds; protecting my crops from marauding chickens and scavenging birds.
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