Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hoops On Raised Beds

A member of another group that I am in, asked about hoops on beds that people used and I just realized that I never posted about my hoops that my husband and I put together last year at the end of the summer.

Putting the project together, I think overall the cost was probably about $25.00:

9-PVC pipe

18-metal brackets to hold the pipe to the bed (or you could put the pipe in the inside of the bed and that will work fine, but I wanted extra security)

3-boards to act as place holders at the top to prevent the boards from swaying

18-black round circles that go on both sides of each PVC pipe to prevent the board from sliding down (not sure the name of them right now)


1-paddle bit that it a smidge bigger than your PVC pipe to make holes in the boards (thanks to my neighbor I did not have to run to the store to buy another bit, I bought one that fit exactly and I needed it to be a little bigger)

1-a second person to help you bend the pipe down into the brackets

BE VERY CAREFUL because the pipes are used to being straight , so when you try to bend them and slide them in the the brackets they want to snap back to be straight. Ask me how I know (I GOT SLAPPED IN THE FACE BY ONE OF THEM), oh my goodness, if that is what it feels like to be punched in the face by a boxer, you will never catch me in the ring.

A few months ago due to the strange winter weather that we have been having her in Texas (yes I know you say but I thought if you wait 15 min. it changes, well for us this is strange), I purchased row cover (not as thin as you put on to prevent bugs, but a little more thicker and it still allows rain and the sun to come in, but prevents frost from landing on the plants (which will usually kill them) and they are not beat up by the wind. I purchased this after searching for weeks at my local garden center (not big box, they only had the ones you use to shade yourself from the sun while relaxing outside). I will post photos this week showing the plants all nestled in their bed. I also had to purchase some clamps and I was told to try a local store that sells all kinds of things at VERY reasonable prices and I got each clamp for $0.99, great deal, so I bought 20 of them (you never know when you will need a clamp and they have come in handy because I was able to really secure the cloth down during the most windy days and my plants were fine).

I chose not to use plastic because I would not always be around during the day to take the plastic off if it got to hot. I have been told from other people through their experience that sometimes the plastic can over heat your plant and then before you know it the plants bolt. If you see the photos below when these plants were at their highest you could still work with the hoops on the beds.


  1. I like the idea of threading the pvc pipe through the wood. It looks like it'll keep things nice and sturdy.

    There are so many good ideas floating around.

  2. Your garden looks wonderful! My brother lives in TX too and has a garden in his backyard. I'm going to have to ask him if he does something like this!

  3. Looks good! What are the black round circles that go on both sides of each PVC pipe to prevent the board from sliding down?

  4. cherylsgardengoodies, yes when I took the gardening 101 class, he showed us what would happen if you did not have a "stabilizer bar" for the hoops. It did not matter the size of the PVC pipe or the distance you stretched the pipe, you still got the swaying and then when you add the row covering they fell over. I have seen videos where people spaced the hoops further apart and drilled them into the beds and they stayed up, but I wanted the option to take them down if I so choose.

  5. Jackie, thanks, yes from what I have been reading and attending tons of classes, I have found that there are a lot of backyard gardens, despite the Texas heat and sometimes lack of rain. Even though we have a longer growing season, you come up against lots of hurdles in the process.

  6. Will Cooper, I was at a loss when I posted this morning, those black rings are o-rings. You find them in the bathroom repar section. I found them where you can replace/repair faucets and such. You can get a variety pack or one with the same size, they were not that expensive either. The only catch is that if you have frequent temp changes in your weather they may break (they are thin rubber). I am sure there is something else that can be used and their may even be a thicker kind (just have not found it yet. Here is a link to the ones that I got at Home Depot.

  7. Nice! Something silly but the last picture struck me as a mini wagon train with the covers off.

    I think combining raised beds with row cover is a very practical method.

  8. I have thought the same thing and I thought I might make the garden a little whimsical with wagon wheels, etc. Make it my own space.



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