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        Welcome to the Gary's Farm & Shop Projects
  Raised Bed Gardens with Hoop House Covers

There are lots of designs for raised bed gardens. These worked very well for Elizabeth. They are quick and easy to build, they drain well and if you need to move them it is no big deal. Another plus it the cost is about as low as you can get it.

These are 4 ft. by 8 ft raised beds. They are easy to reach across. We made ours three 2x4s high. You could easily go four or five 2x4s high if you choose. Also you could place a 2x6 flat on the top rail in a picture frame style to give you a bench on top.

Cut your three of your 2x4s in half, and cut four corner braces 12" long if you are making a three board raised bed. We put a ' gap between each board, it is your call.

To make the raised beds into mini-hoop houses do the following. Use a conduit bender to make 4 hoops per 8 ft. raised bed. Use a 10 ft. 1/2 in. electrical conduit (EMT), put a 90 degree bend in the middle and another 45 degree bend about 2 ft 4 in from each end. If you are not experienced with a conduit bender you may need to practice on one to get the dimensions right. Push them into the dirt so that they are even. Use two hole 3/4 in. EMT straps to hold the tops in place securely this will allow the hoops to be pulled in and out during the summer.

For a 4x8 bed cut plastic sheets 10 ft. by 17 ft. Roll the plastic around 2 pieces of lathe placed end to end, staple it in to place with 1/8 in. staples. Put 2 more pieces of lathe on the plastic to form a sandwich and staple them together with crown staples, see photo. You can then screw the lathe to the raised bed frames. On the other side, rip a 2x4 into three equal pieces and roll the plastic around it, staple in place. Now staple 2 pieces of lathe to the 2x4 piece to secure the plastic in a sandwich, see photo. By only screwing down one side you can roll the plastic back to work the garden or to catch rain water. On the ends gather the plastic and tie with a heavy twine so that you can put a weight on the end to hold the plastic cover down.

You will also need weights on the sides to keep the wind from blowing the plastic off. Bricks work well or small sand bags or milk jugs filled with sand. I suggest you remove the plastic in the summer to keep the UV rays from destroying it. Just a personal note: I started with 2 mil poly then changed to 4 mil because I thought it would be heavier and last longer. In retrospect I now think 2 mil was better. It lets in much more light and is easier to roll back and work with. Unless you spend the money for UV safe plastic you are only going to get one or two years from the plastic. So go cheep and get 2 mil 10 ft. wide rolls of vapor barrier plastic sheeting. You may note in the first photo I tilled the area where the beds were going just to kill the grass and loosen the soil for drainage.

Raised Bed Gardens
Raised Bed Gardens
Raised Bed Gardens Mini-Hoop Houses
Mini-Hoop Houses Mini-Hoop Houses
Mini-Hoop Houses Mini-Hoop Houses
Mini-Hoop Houses Mini-Hoop Houses
 

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