A hoop house is simply an inexpensive greenhouse using a plastic roof over bent metal or PVC tubing. For a modest investment of just a few hundred dollars and a day or two of your time to assemble it, you can create a “growing machine” that can easily pay for itself in just one growing season.
A hoop house gives you a controlled environment that can provide frost protection, wind protection, humidity control and insect control. Because a hoop house can also extend the growing season in spring and fall, you can grow larger, healthier plants and more profits for your nursery.
A “starter”-sized hoop house of around 200 square feet can be constructed for about $200-$300, using PVC hoops and a single-layer poly covering that will last 4-5 years. If you need more space, just extend the length, or build another hoop house.
Here are a few links to books, plans and videos to get you started with a hoop house of your own.
Bending Kits: You’ll need some help bending the metal hoops, but an inexpensive bender from this sources makes it quick and easy. You can pay for the bender by doing hoop sets for others in your area. Some have actually turned this into a profitable business. Lost Creek Greenhouse Systems is the original designer of these benders, and makes them in sizes from 10’ wide to 24’ wide.
Kits: To find ready-to-go hoop house kits, do an internet search for “hoop house kits.” One source for low hoop kits is Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This seed supplier sells a “quick hoops” kit for low row covers in two sizes, 4’ wide x 4’ high and 6’ wide x 3’ high. To learn more, watch the free video on their web site, or read the free instruction manual.
Videos: You’ll also find hundreds of videos on YouTube about building and using a hoop house. Start by doing a search for “hoop house construction.”