These simple covered hoops serve a multitude of uses in the garden.

Because we have such a short growing season at Beekman 1802, we have to give our seedlings every chance possible. Watch the slide show below to see how we construct our protective hoop coverings that save our plants from cold and pests.

Materials:

recycled 3/4 in pvc pipe

3/4 inch fabric clamps

Floating Row Cover

Rebar lengths

Click on first picture to begin slideshow:

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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badamsenBill

Great simple idea. I’d been filling up the backs of scraps of paper with drawings of different ideas … all embarrassingly more complex and wasteful. What diameter and type of black PVC have you found to work best?

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Judi Johnson

I found the clips at johnnyseeds.com- 10 of them for $4.95 in 2 different sizes. I also love the variety of lettuce and greens seeds they have- something I will definitely be trying this coming fall and winter!

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bathroom plumbing

During the short period of planting, produce prices were low and it was difficult for local farmers to make a profit, so its time to use the frost thermostat. That would bring you a good production of a fresh fruits and vegetables to your customers and in the neighboring towns.

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Felicia

Will try this in the fall! My husband made a cover of wood and plexi, but to keep it flexible he just used small nails and when I tried to move it, the stupid thing fell apart! This looks less likely for me to ruin!

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Nina D. Bellone

We used 2' steel rods, or I am sure 2" wood dowels could be used to anchor the poles in. I hammered the rods into the earth 12" which left 12" for the to be to cover, they seem pretty sturdy thus far. Last fall we had a big winds storm which left our plastic pipes and covering all over the yard and neighbors yard. This year we plan to use 2×4's with staples as sort of side weights. If anyone has another idea, PLEASE let me know.

Happy growing!

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christine walker

Hi! Really stupid question here–do the frames have bottoms or are they just on dirt? I think that they are on dirt and the gravel was put around after the frames were installed.

Thanks!

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Sandy

Where does one find the fabric clamps that are mentioned in the list of supplies needed?

Sandy

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Nina D. Bellone

Okay, I set up my hoops last fall…. and to answer Deborah's question. To our surprise, we had lettuce re-growing last weekend from seeds I planted in September-October. I'm not sure if anything will come out of it, but it was surely inspiring. Ive turned the boxes and the Carrots, beets and broccoli seeds went in the beds last weekend without the plastic. I'm wishing I put it up b/c were to get some nasty weather tonight. Plastic to go up asap so we can get this ball going.

Happy gardening all!

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Peggy Perry

I have made the mistake of starting my veggie seeds too early. I am now faced with plants that are doing very well, but are out growing the area in my bedroom that I have them growing in. My question is will the bed cover protect them this early. I live in sunset zone 7.

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Winnie

Hi Brent, I’d appreciate if you’d please fix Image 2 (on clip fabric)of the slideshow, which is currently not available.
Love your blogs, especially those on gardening. When can we watch your show in Canada?

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Deborah @ Antiquity

We did this last fall with greenhouse plastic over the hoops and floating row covers on the lettuce, and it's been fine all winter. I finally quit harvesting lettuce in late December, because I didn't plant enough, and I wanted to know how it would last through the rest of winter. Eliot Coleman's book "Four Season Harvest" tells you how to grow year-round, and he's in Maine! We had a lot of below zero temps in December.

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Nina

We have the hoops all up and I plan on getting the 4 year greenhouse plastic Thursday. Ive got the clips, although not sure if I got enough…. Im sure duckt tape will have to do. Down here on Long Island, how much time do you all think I can buy with the hoops without a heating system. Today was 70 deg. but that was a bit of a freaky thing.

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billy valentine

this is my third year for raised bed gardening. in the winter i cover my hoop bed with plastic this works very well.

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Nina

My question may be a silly one… I am on eastern Long Island and in my 4th year of raised bed gardening. SO I am still VERY new to this and learning every step of the way. I am all ready to put this project in motion, just waiting for the clips to get here! This is exactly the sort of plan I was working out in my head but could not quite grasp it until I saw your site……. Although If your hoops are on all winter, what sort of rain and water can your plants get?

I was also considering a plastic weather resistant covering rather than cloth to keep things warmer longer possibly through January March…. what are your thoughts?

PS I LOVE the show and listened to you on Rosie Radio. Keep up the great work and remember to be nice to each other!

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Angela Brooks

I think I am going to try the raised be for the spring time and I will cover as best I can for the winter. Our summers are brutal. I am trying to grow foods year round. Thanks for this idea, but in this manner. Looks easy enough for me to do without help.

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Camille

yes, thanks for the instructions! i don't have a garden yet, but will soon and i'm storing all this great info for my future dream garden!!!

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Rachel

Thanks for this great tip I'm going to try it this summer. Normally I take the seddings in and out of the shed this is much easier! I also love the raised garden beds!!

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Judith

Wanted to let you know we built our raised bed frames over the weekend per your directions..way too easy. Also made a dibble as per your directions also very easy and useful. Our last labor day weekend job was to build another huge raised bed for a three sisters garden in the spring. We used retainer wall bricks so that it is very sturdy. Cant wait until the 2nd season starts. Thanks for including directions for your projects it is wonderful.

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Judith

Hi Josh…I am new to Gardening and really need some help if possible. I live in Alabama (Huntsville area) and want to grow second season Vegetables..I have several raised beds that we installed this year. Am I supposed to use cold frames or will the raised bed covers above work? We really dont get a lot of freezing temps here its rare when we do. Any help would be greatly appreciated..Thank you, Judy

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Kellie

Love the show and you have inspired me in so many ways! When I noticed your raised beds I really wanted to create the same. Can you tell me the dimensions of your beds?

4 x 8?

Thank you in advance!

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PAULINE MUCCIACCIO

Hi Josh,

Regarding your trellis for your pole beans, can you tell me what exactly it is, so I can purchase it. Also wanted to let you know about a book with tons of info on how you can extend your growing season, plus your home made diddle is in the book, but not on such grand scale. The name of the is The Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman. Just thought I'd pass it along.

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Farmer

I saw on your show you have some kind of 'planting jig.' Did you make that? Are those available for purchase some place? Very cool! I like things nice-n-tidy and uneven rows always make me cringe!

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Michelle

Loved show! I have recorded it and keep watching it over and over. I have a small sustainable farm in North Carolina complete with a small herd of Alpine goats and a Jersey cow. We started constructing raised beds this year and I now wonder how I gardened otherwise.

Two quick questions: what did you make that seed hole board (for lack of a better description) from?

You mentioned in another entry that your tomatoes didn't do well in raised beds. Can you elaborate? My tomatoes often grow five feet high and taller making them hard to stake.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

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Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Hi Michelle…click here to see a blog post about building our "dibble" (the old fashioned name for the seed hole-maker.)

Our tomatoes didn't work so well in the raised beds only because the beds are watered by overhead sprinklers. They don't like their leaves wet…it spreads fungal diseases. But if you can water from below, they'll do just fine in beds.

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Ali

There's a couple things I don't understand about your raised bed set-up.

#1 – Why are you only planting in the middle of your bed? I admire your perfectly spaced seedlings, but you're totally wasting space on the outer portions of your beds! It's just as much work to plant the whole bed, but you get more return.

#2 – Do you not have drip irrigation in your beds? It seems from the pictures here that you may not, which makes we scratch my head and wonder how in the world you're watering 52 beds! Do tell…

🙂

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Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Hi Ali.

1. We plant the cool weather leafy crops in the middle. Then later plant the climbing beans on the outside. As the beans climb our hoop trellises, they shade the leafy greens. That way they bolt a little later.

2. We water the beds with two overhead sprinklers mounted on posts. You're right, there are just too many to do drip irrigation. I planted our tomatoes off to the side in the ground this year (with drip tape) since we've had issues with blight. (and overhead water doesn't help.)

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Crystal Pyren

Thanks so much for these instructions! They seem so much easier than other instructions I have seen! I am wondering, if we use plastic at times, too – which is the best kind of plastic to use? Thanks so much for posting links for where to buy stuff!

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Linda K. Turner

I just saw you on Martha Stewart and loved seeing the goats! I had an Alpine Nubian goat named "Katie" to help 'munch' the weeds on my 1/2 acre in Los Gatos, CA after my husband and I divorced. Katie was tethered on a 15' circle, then moved.

One day my then- 8 year old son called me at my office in tears, saying Katie had broken loose! Of course, she knew to go higher to greener pastures!

I now live at Villa Caridad of St. Vincent's in Santa Barbara, CA, on 19 acres. We have started a community garden assisted by a Master Gardener. We have 19 raised boxes, and several other community plots and bean-climbing beds, tomato plants, etc. As a non-profit, many things are donated to us seniors and families.

I look forward to more on your website!

In Gardening & Life~

Linda K. Turner

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cassandra

this is great…thanks so much! I've been looking for a way to pull of a small scale heat hut for my babies without going all out greenhouse!

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Kenn

Reading this post, I just ask myself, "now why didn't I think of that?? I struggle every season with those cold nights and making sure everything is protected. This is simple and from the looks of things, quite effective!

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