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Instagarden

How to Build a Summer Framework Structure for Your Instagarden®

Instructions for Instagarden® square and hexagon raised bed gardens

Difficulty Level:  difficult

  • you will need specialized tools
  • you will need a friend for some steps

 

Alternative Plan:  Hire an electrician, who should be able to complete this project in a little over an hour.

 

Required Tools:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Marker
  • EMT electrical conduit cutter
  • Large adjustable wrenches (2)
  • Conduit benders for 1/2" and 3/4" EMT electrical conduit (one each)
  • Carpenter's square

 

Materials:

  • 1/2" EMT electrical conduit, 10 feet long (2-3)
  • 3/4" EMT electrical conduit, 10 feet long (5-8)
  • 1/2" EMT compression fittings (2-6)
  • 3/4" EMT compression fittings (4-6)
  • 11" zip ties, black (5-8)

 

Procedure:

 

(1) Decide how tall you want your  summer structure to be.  I like eight feet or taller for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and such, but I am comfortable climbing on my Instagardens to reach the top of the structure.  Five feet tall is fine for squash and greens.

 

(2) You will need to construct arches out of 3/4" EMT conduit, two for a square and three for a hexagon.  Each arch is composed of two posts with 90 degree bends at the top, connected by a middle piece and two compression couplings.

These Instagarden raised bed gardens have summer structures supporting hail protection, which is a must in Colorado.

(3) Mark how tall you want your structure to be on each of the four or six  3/4" EMT conduits you will use for your posts.  Use the 3/4" conduit bender to create a 90 degree bend at the marks.  Check the angle with the carpenter's square and adjust as necessary.

 

2) Measure the distance between the center of one connector and the center of the connector on the opposite side of your Instagarden.  It should be close to 79" for a hexagon and 57" for a square.  Measure each distance between opposite corners on a hexagon, as there may be slight differences.

 

(3) Measure and calculate how long the middle piece of each arch should be so that the posts are the desired distance apart, and cut the middle pieces for each arch using the conduit cutter.

 

(4) Use 3/4" compression fittings to connect the middle pieces of the arches to the posts, and tighten with the two wrenches.

 

(5) With the help of a friend, lift each arch assembly and insert each end fully into the connectors at opposite corners.

(6) Using zip ties, connect the arches where they cross in the middle.  For a hexagon, secure the bottom assembly to the middle assembly with one zip tie, and the middle assembly to the top assembly with a second.

 

(7) The next step is to construct a top ring out of 1/2" EMT conduit.

 

(8a)  For a square, cut two lengths of 1/2" EMT conduit in half and make a 90 degree bend in the middle of each of the four pieces.  Lay the pieces out in the shape of a square, and arrange the pieces so that the sides of the square are 34" apart.  Mark the excess conduit, and cut off with the conduit cutter.  Connect the four pieces with four 1/2" EMT compression fittings and tighten with the two wrenches.

 

(8b)  For a hexagon, cut three lengths of 1/2" EMT conduit in half and make a 60 degree bend in the middle of each of the six pieces.  Lay the pieces out in the shape of a hexagon, and arrange the pieces so that the sides of the hexagon are 68" apart.  Mark the excess conduit, and cut off with the conduit cutter.  Connect the six pieces with six 1/2" EMT compression fittings and tighten with the two wrenches.

 

(9) With the help of a friend, place the completed  top ring on top of the arches that you previously installed.  Attach with a zip tie at each of the places where the top ring intersects the arches.

 

(10)  Attach string trellis structures to the arches and rails, and use garden clips to attach floating row cover, anti-hail netting, or other covers.

Designed in Colorado

Manufactured in the United States of America