Hoop, Hoop-ba-Doop, Hoop-ba-Doop: Stretching the Growing Season

Note: The above title is intended to be sung heartily and with gusto to this song:

In my quest to pluck more and more fresh plant delicacies from our garden, I’m looking forward to stretching our growing season this year. As I searched for the best ways to do so, the mighty hoop house flashed across my screen and jumped off the pages over and over again.

Last year, we didn’t actually have a backyard to grow things in until mid-May (Chris closed on his house on Friday the 13th). The very first weekend we moved in, we dug up new beds, broke soil, and planted root-bound baby veggie plants we had been nursing from seed in Chris’ apartment closet. Even getting that jump on things, we still missed out on a lot of growing time. This year, we don’t have those limitations, and I am so accepting the challenge.

So by my count, we have a few things going for us in 2012:

  • We have already moved into the house.
  • We have a good start with our raised beds from last summer.
  • We even have a bit of compost going.

Getting back to the title of this post, then, it seems to me that all we really need is a sturdy little hoop house. Chris found some hoop house guidance today, albeit on the more behemoth end of the hoop house spectrum: inspired by Michelle Obama and her beautiful gardens on the White House lawn, The Daily Green outlines how to build your own hoop house.

Because my boy is wicked smaht, when we built the first raised bed last year, he planned ahead for future hoop house magic. He screwed in six 1″ PVC pipe sections around the edges of the bed. Tonight, we’ll go buy three lengths of 1/2″ PVC to fit into each of those larger pipes, round them over the top of the bed, and create a hoop house skeleton.

20110521. the new garden bed, all finished!Note the sections of PVC pipe (and the super cool dude, of course). This was from 5/21/2011, a mere 8 days after Chris got the keys to the house. I still can’t believe how much we accomplished last summer in the yard.

20110521. resting in the new (garden) bed.By March 1, I’ll have our first hoop house set up and some new-to-me veggies growing! Lettuce, spinach, beets, early peas and beans… get in my belly.

2 thoughts on “Hoop, Hoop-ba-Doop, Hoop-ba-Doop: Stretching the Growing Season

  1. I have never heard of hoop houses and I believe these are Harry Potter magical. If Joe and I get this house, we will close on a Friday the 13th as well… WHOOP for coincidences.

    • Harry Potter magical is the best kind of magical. Perhaps we’ll grow mandrakes in the hoop house 🙂

      Good luck with the house!

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