Today we have the perfect project for you do-it-yourselfer: a raised bed tire house. These are essentially roofs that cover the walls of your raised bed.
With a garden tire house, your plants are protected from external hazards with little maintenance. Not to mention, these homes are perfect for an extensive and delicious harvest all year round!
We'll walk you through the process of building your tire house and prepare you for success.
Good Products for Building Your Tire House:
What is a tire house?
A raised bed tire house protects your plants. Source: Sarah and Jason
A tire house is a type of garden bedspread that has a "tire" shape. The supports are curved around the top of the garden beds, creating a dome-like space inside. This shape holds the cover material, be it plastic, mesh or fabric.
Some tire houses are foldable or retractable, which allows easy access to your plants. The style and dimensions you choose should depend on the type of raised bed you have. In this article, we'll focus on a hoop house designed for the birdies raised beds. If you haven't selected garden beds yet, we recommend these for their durability and customization options (you'll love them!).
Why should I use a tire house?
If the weather is cold in your garden, choose Reifenhäuser. If migrating wild animals like to feed on your plants, choose Reifenhäuser. If you want a greenhouse effect, you get it.
These covers offer innumerable advantages. Perhaps the most common reason for construction is to extend the growing season. By covering your plants in the fall, you protect them from frost. This is especially useful for fall vegetables that would otherwise not survive as long.
When these covers are made of the right material, they act as cooling frames. In fact, they are so effective at keeping the roots warm that you can potentially grow plants year-round if you live in a zone with mild winters.
We mentioned that there are many types of comforters. So why choose a tire store in particular? These structures are popular for two reasons: they are simple and they are inexpensive. You can build your own in a single afternoon while spending less than last spring in kindergarten. In addition, their proven structure holds up well under most conditions and is low maintenance.
DIY hoop house for your raised bed
We designed a DIY hoop house that can be adapted to any shape the Birdies garden bed was built in (there are many configurations!). This cover anchors underground in bed and has a removable top that's perfect for keeping your plants warm and happy. So let's start with this fun and easy hoop house!
Things to consider
Take a close look at your garden bed. How many tires can it fit? Where do you want to access the plants? It can help you make a quick sketch of what the hoop house will look like on your bed. This design is designed to be adapted to your raised garden beds. So don't be afraid to change things!
In this plan we put the base in the beds in front of the floor. Because of the rectangular base that sits on the floor, the vertical supports stay on their own while you fill the floor. They are also more grounded and provide great support for the tires.
If your garden bed is already filled, don't worry! Just skip steps 2-4 when building the base. Insert the supporting vertical pipes into the ground and pack them tightly. This should still be enough to keep the structure strong – especially if you are using a larger diameter pipe for this part.
Tools and materials you need
- Birdies raised bed (available in the Epic Gardening Shop)
- Soil and shovel
- Tape measure
- PVC pipe cutter
- 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch PVC pipe (amount depends on bed dimensions)
- 4 sockets
- 2+ tees
- 4+ couplings
- 1+ cross fittings (optional)
- Covering material (plastic, mesh, fabric, etc.)
- Heavy duty scissors
- duct tape
- Several small brackets
- Disassembly clip for PVC pipes (optional)
- First, measure the inside of your raised bed. The size determines how much PVC is needed for the tire house.
- Cut the 1/2 inch PVC pipe into 2 pieces, each the width of the inside of the bed. Attach one side of the bottom of a pedestal to the ends (a single side of the pedestal should be facing up).
- Lay out the PVC for the long sides and cut them into sections wherever a tire will be supported. How many you cut will depend on the length of the beds and how much freedom of movement you want when growing your plants. We recommend that you keep the hoops about 2 feet apart for solid structure.
- Connect the parts lengthways with the T-piece connections (on one side up!). Attach the ends to the sleeves of the wide pipes. In the end, you will get a nicely shaped rectangle that will fit into the raised garden bed.
- Now for the supports. Cut lengths of PVC that are an inch or two off the floor – the lower the more it can get lost in the dirt. Make a length for each fitting on the rectangle base.
- Insert these parts upright into the fittings and cover each part with a coupling.
- Let's start with the top bar. Cut PVC pieces to the same lengths as the side of the base (we only need one set, however). Put them aside.
- Now cut the PVC parts for the domed hoops. You need to observe the desired height as they will bend into an arch. Cut a piece for each side of each arch.
- Connect these parts into individual hoops (they will not be bent yet). End pieces should be connected with T-piece connections, while center hoops require cross bolts.
Put everything together
- Place the base in your empty raised bed. If the base is too big, just cut back the length of the tubes.
- Fill the beds with the floor of your choice. This can be difficult to change later. Therefore, consider the soil needs of the plants that will grow there.
- Now for the fun part. Take a section of PVC tire and insert one end into the appropriate base support. Bend the section into an arch and insert the other end into the opposite coupling. Repeat with the remaining PVC hoops.
- Take the top pole pieces and fit one between each hoop.
- Make sure each piece is secure so you don't get any surprises when the wind comes up.
- You now have a sturdy PVC structure! All you have to do is cover it with the material of your choice.
- Cut off two pieces of masking material that are slightly larger than the end hoops (plastic is most popular). Tape one around each end bracket so that the sides are completely covered.
- Now cut a much larger piece with a width that is slightly longer than the length of the PVC tire house. The material should be long enough to cover the entire structure. Drape it over it, flatten it, and use clips to hold it in place.
- Cut the ends of the plastic so they hit the floor, but don't hang from either end of the beds.
Congratulation! You now have a fully functional tire house! To access your growing plants, simply remove the clamps on one side, lift the material, and clamp it out of the way. Later in the season, if you do decide to completely remove the upper part, simply separate the tire part from the base fittings (you may need to use a removal clip). In the meantime, plant some seeds and watch your garden grow!
The green fingers behind this article: