Simple Greenhouse / Hoop House
Here is an example simple greenhouse to help extend your garden season. This type is known as a “hoop house”, or “row cover tunnel”. The frame was made with two pieces of .25″ 10′ long conduit pipe that was purchases from the local hardware store. Each end can be stuck into a corner, and zip ties can be used to fasten the top arch. 3 mm plastic can be used to drape over the frame – this piece was 8′ x 12′ and it covered the frame fully.
Using plastic is an excellent way to trap the heat of the sun. A simple setup as this will help start planting if you still have sub-zero temperatures at night. This hoop house worked out really well for our first try, and we ended up making another one. Greenhouses have become very cheap and easy to find now, so it may just be easier to buy one. Store bought greenhouses can be more functional as well.
At the base of the frame, old newspaper can be laid down in layers. This prevents weeds coming up and will save you some trouble. After the newspaper is laid out, you can begin adding the compost. With a little effort you can make more sophisticated hoop houses, and there are plenty of guides available online. Below is an excellent video that will take you step by step in making your own hoop house, or row cover tunnel.
Choosing Cold Tolerant Vegetables
Cold tolerant vegetables, such as lettuce and other leafy greens are a great option to start with. Lettuce tastes much better when grown in cooler weather. The flavour will be much sweeter. When grown during hot weather leafy greens tend to bolt (produce seed) and taste more bitter. Please see this article for more information on winter vegetables.
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Low Cost Greenhouse:
Small 4-Tier Greenhouse.