Jess and I had wanted to grow some vegetables at home and with the Coronavirus induced time we’d be spending at home we quickly made a plan to build a hinged hoop house raised garden bed. In years past we knew there were a number of squirrels and other animals in our backyard and wanted to give whatever we planted the best chance of success by protecting it. To make this easy we designed a hooped lid on a hinge with chicken wire on it.
We started by excavating the area and using a level to be sure it was flat ground we were starting with.
We built a raised garden bed that was ~18″ tall using 3 1×6 and using 2×4 to make the corners. We affixed some plastic fencing to the bottom to try and prevent anything from burrowing up into the garden bed (we have plenty of moles in our yard). As we were putting in – I had some second thoughts on both the plastic fence and the size of the holes in it and we put down some left over very narrow wire fencing, but didn’t have enough for the entire bottom. If I did it again I would have just gone with the narrow metal fencing over the entire bottom.
Tipped it into place and filled in around it and added some garden soil. Initially we just put a few inches in, but know as we do more composting we’ll start to add more and bring the level of the soil up.
For the hoop frame we used 2×4 to create a frame the same size as the bed. We cut some angle pieces in the corners to give it some more strength and put 1 beam down the middle of it.
Using a tomato cage we might like to put in the garden, we figured out how high we wanted to make the hoops. To affix the hoops to the frame we drilled holes in the plastic and just put 2 screws straight through the pipe into the frame on each side.
Next we put the chicken wire across the hoops. I used cable ties to connect it, but these will degrade in a couple years and I really need to re-affix it with wire to make it more permanent. Note we still hadn’t added the hinges which made it easy to move the frame onto some saw horses to easily get underneath it to affix the chicken wire.
With the completed hoop sitting on the garden bed, we added 3 fence hinges to one side to make it open. Then we added some eye hooks inside the frame and inside the garden and tied a rope to them to keep the frame from opening too far, but ensured it opens far enough that the weight of it holds it open and there’s no risk of it blowing closed while we are working in it.
- 1×6 boards for raised bed
- 2×4 for bed corners and hoop frame
- 1/2″ pvc pipe for hoops
- wood screws to hold everything together
- narrow wire fence under the raised bed (optional)
- chicken wire for the hoop cage
- wire to tie the chicken wire together and to the hoops (or cable ties as a temporary solution)
- 3 fence door hinges
- 1 handle
- 4 eye hooks and rope to hold it open