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Hoops for narrow beds?

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Post  Coelli on 2/19/2013, 3:10 pm

Last year I had two 4x4 beds and used two pieces of 1/2" PVC as hoops for each bed. They were the perfect length.

This year my beds are 2x12 (with a trellis all along the back) and 3x12 and things don't fit quite as well. Smile Would love to hear (and especially see pictures) how people made hoops for their long, narrow beds and what the results were. Thanks!
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Post  meatburner on 2/19/2013, 8:05 pm

It will be the same as your 4 x 4 beds except higher in the middle if you use the same length pvc pipes. Cut the length shorter if you want a lower center. You will need more supports than on each end though. Anywhere from 2 to 4 feet apart to get the strength you want. Not sure if that was what you were asking.
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Post  Coelli on 2/19/2013, 9:01 pm

Yes, pretty much Smile I wasn't sure whether the PVC could make that bend (especially on the 2' bed) or whether I needed to move to something else. I'll use pipe clamps/brackets to secure the ends to the box and try removing a foot or two from the lengths of pipe without impacting their flexibility. Thanks!
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Post  meatburner on 2/19/2013, 10:24 pm

Coelli, the 1/2 inch will bend just fine for the narrower beds. Keep us posted with what you do and post a pic or two if you can. You are good to go. Over a 2' bed, it would be pretty tall at the center so adjust the length of the pipe to get the heighth you want. It's all good!
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Post  johnsonjlj on 2/20/2013, 6:01 am

Coelli, we built my mom raised garden beds at the beginning of this year and used the plastic electrical conduit and clamps to arch over her beds for frost protection. We've had a couple of freezing nights since then and they work great. We actually cut the pipes down- cut the bell end off, then cut them in half (so a little shorter than 5 feet). These work for now, but we may have to go to longer ones if she ever grows a winter garden, since I don't think they would cover broccoli.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 2/24/2013, 11:57 am

My Dollar Store just got Hoola Hoops in. They have 2 sizes, big and small. I got both and will use the small ones for my narrower beds. I haven't tried yet but I'm pretty sure clothes pins will fit over them for holding on netting, burlap, plastic and such.

Btw, this is not my idea. There's a thread on here somewhere that has photos of hoola hooped beds but I couldn't find it. They are so colorful! What a Face

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Post  quiltbea on 2/24/2013, 1:18 pm

Hey, CC, I know, I saw that picture. Last year I tried to find hula hoops but they were 5 bucks each at Walmart. None at my dollar store then. If I can find some for a dollar, I'll buy a few, but haven't seen any here yet.
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Post  camprn on 2/24/2013, 1:25 pm

I think the 10' x 1" grey electrical conduit is still cheaper, unless the hoops are a buck a piece.

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Post  CapeCoddess on 2/24/2013, 1:33 pm

yup, a buck a hoop. And they actually gave me one for free coz I bought so many. Paid $9 for 10. cheers Also picked up a lasagna pan with lid for a $1, so I can put seedling pots in both in order to water from the bottom. I was running out of trays.

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Post  Coelli on 2/24/2013, 7:46 pm

You guys were right - the PVC easily makes the 3' bend. I took a foot off of each end. It helps that the 4 pieces I already had were already bent from the 4' beds last year. I bought one more piece of PVC and you can see it wedged into the end of the box - I want to let it form a bit before I try getting it to hold with just clamps since it'll be on the outside of the bed.

I'm still unsure about the 2' bed, but we'll give it a shot! Overall the rebuild this spring is going really well. I'm getting the drip irrigation in now. Smile

Hoops for narrow beds? Wp_20111

btw, the black things on a couple of the hoops are pieces of rubber hose - I slice them up the long side and use them as clamps to hold plastic, netting, etc.
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Post  quiltbea on 2/24/2013, 9:23 pm

coelli.....Thats a good way to hold on covers if you have an old leaky hose lying around.
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Post  TN_GARDENER on 2/25/2013, 12:33 pm

If you are worried about the bend for the small beds, you can soften the pvc with a hair dryer or a pot of hot water.

There are different types of pvc pipes for sale. Some have thinner walls and bend easier.

Another idea is to use black irrigation tubing.
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Post  Coelli on 2/25/2013, 2:11 pm

Good idea on the hair dryer - the new piece of PVC seems more rigid than the others (it's glossy, the old ones are matte) so I think I may need to break out the heat to form it. Thanks! Smile
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Post  Lillyz on 3/13/2013, 12:31 am

I looked at the book and it looked like the pvc was inside the box. On some of the photos on this site, it looks like the pvc is on the outside. Wondering if I put them on the inside it might help when its windy? And if its outside how do you attach/keep them from flying around? thinking
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Post  Coelli on 3/13/2013, 1:00 am

When I had 4x4 boxes, I used 2 pieces of PVC (the whole, uncut length like you buy it) and just went from corner to corner, with the pipe inside the box and held in place with a pipe clamp.

With my new 3x12 box, I can't do the corner to corner thing, and the bend is much sharper if I use the whole length of pipe (not to mention taller). So I cut a foot off each end and put the pipes on the outside of the box, held there by 2 pipe clamps. You can see how that is in the picture below.

It's probably better to have them inside the box, as the pipes will be trying to straighten and the sides of the box are plenty sturdy and will hold them in shape. With the pipe on the outside you run the risk of your screws or nails popping out if you're not using something like rebar in the ground and putting the pipe over it.

Hope that makes sense!
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Post  HillbillyBob on 3/13/2013, 11:19 am

They look good I like the 3x12 ideal I've been thinking about adding a 3 x 50 myself now you may need to put a pipe down the middle on top of the hoops for support, I'd just use a couple wire tye's to hold it Cool please keep us posted on what you do to them. Very Happy Very Happy
Hoops for narrow beds? 3170584802
Good luck
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Post  CapeCoddess on 3/13/2013, 11:37 am

@Coelli wrote:You can see how that is in the picture below.


I can't see the photo...did you upload it?

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Post  Coelli on 3/13/2013, 11:48 am

I linked to it - it must have been removed. One sec. Wink

Here it is:
Hoops for narrow beds? 582305_10151342985488339_1211728091_n
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Post  Coelli on 3/13/2013, 11:50 am

@HillbillyBob wrote:They look good I like the 3x12 ideal I've been thinking about adding a 3 x 50 myself now you may need to put a pipe down the middle on top of the hoops for support, I'd just use a couple wire tye's to hold it Cool please keep us posted on what you do to them. Very Happy Very Happy
Hoops for narrow beds? 3170584802
Good luck

I did buy some extra pipe to use as a top support, but I have found the pipes are so rigid they are held just fine by two pipe clamps on each side. Smile I think with larger hoops you might need the top support but so far, so good! They're not swaying at all!

My garden space is very small and at a weird angle because of the property line, so the 12' narrower boxes made more sense (and more trellis space). This was about all I could fit!
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Post  HillbillyBob on 3/15/2013, 1:19 pm

nice job happy hi
is that a row cover or plastic?? :scratch:
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Post  Coelli on 3/16/2013, 12:43 am

@HillbillyBob wrote:nice job happy hi
is that a row cover or plastic?? :scratch:

It's neither - it's 108" tulle from Joann Fabrics. I got it for about $1.60 a yard with coupon. Wink It's just to keep the bugs off.
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Post  HillbillyBob on 3/16/2013, 10:10 am

So your using it as a roll cover for bugs or birds and such,looks great I'm still trying to talk myself into a another new bed Cool Smile trouble is I've already got the old Row-garden started,yep to much I'll learn again some day Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Mel's rule #1 Hoops for narrow beds? 3170584802


Last edited by HillbillyBob on 3/16/2013, 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fat finger)
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Post  Coelli on 3/16/2013, 6:36 pm

@HillbillyBob wrote:So your using it as a roll cover for bugs or birds and such,looks great I'm still trying to talk myself into a another new bed Cool Smile trouble is I've already got the old Row-garden started,yep to much I'll learn again some day Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Mel's rule #1 Hoops for narrow beds? 3170584802

Go for another bed, it'll be quick! Very Happy And yes, I am using the tulle as a row cover - I just meant I didn't buy a traditional row cover. I just made the supports for the other box now and it's also covered with tulle. Love the stuff, especially when I see bugs crawling on the OUTside. Wink
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Post  Gunny on 3/16/2013, 11:22 pm

Get the fabric at wally world its less than a dollar a yard. Just put it on my beds with make shift shaders. 15 yards to cover four 2'x4' beds. It don't look pretty but it works for me.
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Post  Turan on 3/17/2013, 1:05 am

If you get the fabric wet it will make a 'swamp cooler' for the beds.

When I lived inland SanDeigo I had an arbor covered with honeysuckle with sprinklers set up in the roof. In the hottest part of the day I would turn that onand get the roof wet. It was a cool place to sit, and grow plants that could not handle 110*.

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