Hoop Tunnels & Cold Frames for Winter Gardening

When seasons change, it can be difficult to maintain a garden’s produce. Although we can store canned vegetables or buy them at the grocery during the cold months, there is no substitute for freshly picked vegetables from your own backyard. However, with the use of hoop tunnels and cold frames, it is possible to successfully grow vegetables all year round, even when the temperatures drop.

Hoop tunnels are very easy to make and only require wire and plastic to make. If you are going to make a raised garden area, plastic tubing can be used as well. For taller crops, make sure your wire is the appropriate length.

The first step is to bend the wire into arches and sink the ends into the ground. Next, you will simply lay the plastic over the arches. It is important to make sure the plastic can be removed quickly, because the sun can damage your crops on warmer days.

A cold frame takes slightly more time to build than a hoop tunnel but it is just as easy to make. The difference between a cold frame and a hoop tunnel is that a cold frame has a box or border around the garden area. Cold frames also have a clear lid on the top allowing the sun to filter through the glass.

When choosing a material for your cold frame, cedar wood is a great choice. Should you decide to make a cold frame, you will start by cutting the two side panels. Next, you will cut the other sides.

When assembling, you will be attaching the sides with long decking screws. You will need to build the lid and then attach it to the frame with hinges. Shelves can also be built into the frame to provide room for an extra row of plants. After the frame or tunnel is complete, you will be ready to plant and watch those vegetables grow with little maintenance!

Happy gardening!