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Old February 12, 2021   #1
GoDawgs
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Default Using wire for frost cloth hoops? Need advice

I currently use 1/2" irrigation pipe to support frost cloth and netting over my 4' wide beds but I want something that will be useful to run down all or just part of a row on one side of a bed. I see some wire hoops (with accompanying covering) being sold for this purpose in some seed catalogs but I can most likely buy the wire around here and cut it myself with my bolt cutter for less money.

Do any of you use these? If so, what gauge wire is it? I realize the length of wire needed for a hoop will vary according to height of hoop, how far in the ground the ends are pushed and how wide it spreads, but does anyone have a general rule of thumb? I just want to buy a bit for testing purposes so I can cover a few things without setting up the whole bed with my current set-up.

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old February 12, 2021   #2
biscuitridge
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I use wire that the vineyards use ,I don't know what gauge it is though . I usually stick it in about 8 to 10 inches and it covers an area about 18 to 24 inches wide.
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Old February 13, 2021   #3
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Got a guess as to the overall length of one of the wire pieces?
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Old February 13, 2021   #4
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I use wires from an electric cable. Their advantage is the insulation, which prevents the wire from forming a cold bridge. As to the gauge, it's difficult to give any advise for two reasons: I don't know how much weight they will have to carry (depends on the height of the tunnel and cover material used) and I don't know your American standards for producing cables. Mine are 25 or 35 square millimeters (35 = 0,0542 square inches) in cross section. Material either aluminium or copper. I was lucky to find a lengthy piece left behind by sloppy electricians. I guess the gauge doesn't matter much as you can always adjust the span.

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Old February 13, 2021   #5
zeuspaul
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If you read the reviews of this 9 gauge wire https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B001PZ98RU you will find a lot of references to using it for row covers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
I currently use 1/2" irrigation pipe to support frost cloth and netting over my 4' wide beds but I want something that will be useful to run down all or just part of a row on one side of a bed. I see some wire hoops (with accompanying covering) being sold for this purpose in some seed catalogs but I can most likely buy the wire around here and cut it myself with my bolt cutter for less money.

Do any of you use these? If so, what gauge wire is it? I realize the length of wire needed for a hoop will vary according to height of hoop, how far in the ground the ends are pushed and how wide it spreads, but does anyone have a general rule of thumb? I just want to buy a bit for testing purposes so I can cover a few things without setting up the whole bed with my current set-up.

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old February 14, 2021   #6
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I'm just interested in what is the diameter of the "gauge 9" wire.
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Old February 14, 2021   #7
Milan HP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBig46 View Post
I'm just interested in what is the diameter of the "gauge 9" wire.
Vladimír
3.797 mm in diameter.
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Old February 15, 2021   #8
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Default Concrete block reinforcing wire,galvanized,

Made this raised hoop house,with the 4 inch wire ladders.They have one for 8 inch block.

https://www.menards.com/main/buildin...4421185063.htm
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Old February 15, 2021   #9
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After checking out online what Tractor Supply had, I bought a 171' coil of 9 gauge wire for $16.99. Pretty sturdy stuff and I'm glad I have a good bolt cutter. Now when it finally stops raining, I will go down to the garden and cut some test hoops.

Thanks to all for the input.
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Old February 16, 2021   #10
JRinPA
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Sorry I just saw this.



3/16" hi tensile steel hoops is what I buy. They don't rust much, I can't say if they are galvanized, but only rust if left on the ground over winter, or the parts stuck in the ground.
64" x100 hoops is $44 this year.
76" x 100 is $50. This a produce supply place, and that would not include shipping.



64" is what I have used, and to stretch them to 4ft wide bed, I need to ziptie a pair of them together to make a big hoop that can be wide yet sunk deep.



If you have good tilth I would buy them/make them longer, and just sink them deeper when you don't need the width. My brother ordered some this year and I advised the longer version.



If you only need a narrow span, you lay the hoops in at angle to the bed edge to retain height but decrease width.



I usually use two crossed and ziptied at each row end, I call it castling, so I can pull the row cover fairly tight without pulling that farthest hoop back toward me.

Last edited by JRinPA; February 16, 2021 at 03:49 AM.
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Old February 16, 2021   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post

64" is what I have used, and to stretch them to 4ft wide bed, I need to ziptie a pair of them together to make a big hoop that can be wide yet sunk deep.

If you have good tilth I would buy them/make them longer, and just sink them deeper when you don't need the width. My brother ordered some this year and I advised the longer version.

If you only need a narrow span, you lay the hoops in at angle to the bed edge to retain height but decrease width.

I usually use two crossed and ziptied at each row end, I call it castling, so I can pull the row cover fairly tight without pulling that farthest hoop back toward me.
Thanks for the tips, JR. By shoving them in deeper and crossing longer hoops at an angle to support the covering, longer hoops can be used on more narrow strips and thus eliminate the need for two different length of hoops.
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Old February 16, 2021   #12
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Before placing in the soil ,we spray the wire with a pruning spray seal or plain old dip in bucket of pure roofing asphalt(which is organic).Stops the rust from exposures from latter ferts that contain the salts.Stops the cutting of ends after seasons.
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