This is post #2 featuring one of Herrick Kimball's whizbang innovations. As with his whizbang handle rub, this post is an abridged version of the row tunnel instructions he has on his own website. So check there for precise measurements and the like.
I've used row tunnels in the past, but the system I used--we bent some thick wire into hoops, inserted those in the ground, draped row cover material over them, and anchored the row cover material with one by fours--was terrible because the hoops weren't stiff enough and our very windy area always blew the cover off. Herrick's version definitely looks more skookum, so I plan to try it out this spring. Here's what he does:
Here's what you'll need to get going: 1/2" PVC pipe for the hoops, some boards for hoop spacing and alignment, and some stakes to anchor the hoops. Plus a string to run from each end of your garden bed.
I have to admit that I expect I'll just eyeball where the stakes for the hoops need to go, since Herrick's system looks sort of slow. It also looks really accurate. The shorter board maintains a uniform width across the bed, and the two longer boards allow for evenly spaced hoops. There are stake-sized holes in each board, and Herrick moves the boards along the bed, placing stakes where the cross-board meets the other two. Also note the center line on the board, which is kept in line with the string at the bed's center. The stakes are left in the ground as he proceeds, resulting in this pretty picture:
The system is ready for veggies and row cover. Herrick keeps the cover in place with clamps he makes out of lumber and recycled bicycle tube. As I said, check out his very detailed instructions if you want to try out this system.
This system looks a lot sturdier than the one I used in the past, and easy to set up and take down. Thanks to Herrick for sharing his idea here.