Hoop House: How to Make a Row Cover Tunnel

Hoop House: How to Make a Row Cover Tunnel

With strong winds, heavy rainfall and snow, winter can take its toll on even the hardiest crops. A simple row cover can protect your plants from the worst of the winter weather, and dramatically extend your growing season.

Row covers can be expensive to buy but don’t require a lot of materials or time to make your own and the benefits are well worth the effort.

In this short video we show you how to make a simple hooped row cover to protect your plants, extend your harvests and get even more from your garden.

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What do you think?


Written by Aleksandar

Video MakerContent AuthorYears Of Membership


  1. Great information! This was easy to put together! I'll be trying Shade Cover this year first! Still a bit hot for the greens and the bush beans in my opinion, but I couldn't wait to start.

  2. After trying these instructions I can guarantee that these pipes are NOT 1/2 inch in diameter. I should have compared the size to his hand. They must be 3/4 inch. Now I’ve wasted my time and money trying to force these pipes to fit on the rebar. Specs are important when providing tutorials 😕

  3. I think you could sew tulle together to make netting to cover this. Tulle is cheap, and netted fine enough to hold out bugs, hopefully. I like the idea of stapling the edges to 2x4s, so will try that.

  4. Cut a piece of the poly tube off, then cut a small section out of it lengthwise. Then you can snap it over the plastic that is over the poly tube and it will hold in place perfectly well. That is what i did with mine and it works great. This also allows you to do the project using even less materials – and means you're not leaving your clamps outside and unusable. Reach out to me if this isn't clear and I can share some images with you or make a small vid showing what I mean. Cheers!

  5. I happened to catch a sale for a 70" long tunnel. I also found a greenhouse. I hope these work. Love your videos. I get many through The Almanac page. Thank you,

  6. Where did you buy your pvc piping? I assumed half inch garden hose would be equivalent, but it isn't rigid enough to support itself across the span and sags horribly – the span being about a metre. Homebase? Other? Ditto the rebars? Hope you can help, I'm an avid viewer as a beginner veg gardener and want to get going on the tunnel for my beds. Thanks!

  7. I really wish i could do more work in the gardening, I love to be out there with my spade and feel close to nature but since the passing of my best friend almost five years ago, after a while of working hard in the garden, I become incredibly angry. I really am experiencing so much anger when I work in the garden right now but don't want to give one of my favourite activities up!

  8. My husband built hoop houses just like this, but using 1 inch pvc piping to cover our garden rows here in Central Texas. They were about 4 feet wide and 10 feet long and we had six of them. They were difficult to manage. The first problem we had was with the strength of the plastic holding out against the wind. I believe we ended up using 4 mil plastic and it lasted the longest (but only one season, because it degrades with UV exposure). We tried using large rocks to weigh down the edges and eventually chose 2x4s with the plastic wrapped around and stapled to them. Other wise the wind would whip the plastic around, losing all the warmth inside the tunnel. The rain was the next problem. The plastic would puddle rain which would weigh it down, sometimes collapsing sections under the weight. Then, with everything secure, the heat of the sun turned the tunnels into saunas. The sun is strong here, and even with an air temp of 45F the tunnels would get up to 90F (yes, we also had to buy a remote outdoor thermometer to monitor the temp because of this problem). So we had to constantly open and close daily for venting. Yes, we had some food that grew. But it was so much work we decided to never do it again. I'm sorry – your delicate little row cover might work in your area, but not in Central Texas!!

  9. MATERIALS SOURCES: Clamps & Plastic
    One place to obtain the PVC 4" long clamps is Amazon. Just type in something like 1/2" PVC clamps or 3/4" PVC clamps, whatever size you need. These really do hold very securely.

    Plastics can be obtained from the on-line "Greenhouse Megastore".

    One is a 6 Mil plastic sheeting which should be thick and strong enough to cover well. I have this on a 14 ft. X 14 ft, hoop greenhouse.

    Another is a 5 oz per sq. yd. landscaping fabric – I use this on the ground and to sew up some neat "grow bags" which I had good luck with.

    And, of course they also carry different weights of Row Cover fabric. Make sure to buy enough length to cover the ends of the hoop tunnel as well as the row length.

  10. I have done it the way you suggest and it has worked. Even with the temperature hoovering around 20 degrees I have had root vegetables to live into the moths of February.

  11. Though I've been using hoops for five years with success, I never thought about the rigid pole for added support. Thanks for the tip, as this will come in handy when the snow starts piling up!

  12. Hi, thanks for the great tips! Can you please advise as to what type and strength of plastic to use? Also do you have a source for this type of plastic? My hardware stores only have the thin plastic sheeting for painting drop cloths. Thanks so much!

  13. We use row covers for pest control as well as frost protection, switching from a spun bond fiber for pest control to a plastic cover as a season extender. We've experimented with a variety of products for the hoops (PVC pipe, EMT, tension wire); techniques for attaching the cover to the hoops (clothes pins, cheap Harbor Freight plastic clamps, cut-up pieces of old rubber hose); methods of attachment to the beds (pipe clamps for wooden beds, 12" long landscape nails, rebar); and securing to the ground (piles of dirt, rocks, bricks, landscape staples). This video shows a bit of all of that and we may give this a try as well. Good video.

  14. Another way to do these is to use 1.0" PVC pipe cut to 14.0" and pounded down to the ground with one inch sticking out. Place 6 ft. apart and about 4 ft. apart however long your bed is. Use 3/4" PVC for the hoops. Place your material on top and starting with 3/4" X 4" manufactered PVC clamps, do the top center first and then half way up, and then the bottom on each side of the hoops. Leave enough material at the ends to pull together and tie tight, then tie that off to a ground stake as low as possible. Having a friend to help greatly increases the chances of getting it right the first time. Hoops are very easy to remove in the spring and to re-apply the cover in late fall.

  15. Amazing that majority of all people don't do over-wintering cold-/grow-/hot-housing for vegs/herbs. Much easier continuing fertilizing, composting, have an all-season composting bin, worm bin, compost tea etc. Even wood mulching can be accelerated with hoop housing.

  16. THANK YOU for EXCELLENT TIP on using pipe insulation and clamps to hold cover in place on the hoops! I am very interested in how best to water, if needed, in mid growing season!

  17. Yes! I am going to try this today!! Our season is so much longer than usual (the past 5 years in california, our harvests have been so early we can replant for a new harvest in the same season!!) and I'm pretty sure my sweet Italian peppers will love this set up. Our first frost isn't supposed to come til December. We will see if they mature! Thank you!! Yesss! Exactly what I needed and today even! Yessss just yes! 😄😆😊


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