Awhile ago it was 45 degrees on my backporch. I took the thermometer out into my hoophouse, waited about 10 minutes... can't believe it 74 .3 degrees. All I have in there is two 30 gallon plastic barrels, 2/3 full of water.
will have to get some new batteries for my camera, looks like someone borrowed one of mine and it won't work with just one battery.
I've moved all my plants that were in pots outdoors into the hoophouse (hopefully the two nights of freezing temps didn't hurt them too badly). Also added 55 beefsteak tomato seedlings and will be putting about the same of Mortgage lifter tomato seedlings in there tomorrow when i get home from work. Still have Homestead tomato, roma tomato, and bell peppers in flats of 72 that I need to transplant into styrofoam cups before moving them out there. Lots more seeds to plant too.
Hopefully I can keep it at the 74-75 degrees. My goal is to have about 1500 veggie plants by the end of February, middle of March. I'd like to have them in gallon size pots by then but we'll see how it goes...
they are not that hard to build and you can make what ever size you want. I have a huge yard and will probably be putting up a 2nd one next year. I love to grow stuff but when I put it in the ground the damned little mole, vole, gofer or whatever it is takes it out and I come home to find a hole with a pile of chopped up leaves in the entrance. I figure when it warms up I can take the plastic off and put a 20 x 20 shade cloth on and grow some of those veggies in large pots for my self for a change.
Every year I plant way more than I need and give plants away. This year I'm going big on the veggie plants and plan on selling them. I ordered heirloom seeds of 5 different kinds of tomatoes, bell peppers, 4 kinds of chili peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, and egg plant. I work for the city and can advertise on the city intranet so hopefully will make enough to pay for what I put out. I'd like a second one next year so i can do one with veggies and one with flowers, etc. It makes me sick when I go to homedepot and lowes and I see hanging baskets of petunias for $19.95 and they only have two or three plants in them. Man are they making a profit.
I built my hoop house one year ago this fall.
I've been amazed at how well it heats up in winter. However I don't need to worry too much about night time temps being in coastal CA. It would be really cool if the barrels could keep the temps up at night. My suggestion, frogymon, is be sure and put a roof vent in. I will be be putting one in as soon as I have to replace the plastic, probably a year or two from now.
Gemfire - are you doing all the veges in pots? I did some tomatoes in ground last year and it worked pretty well. Of course tomatoes are probably about the only vege that will take the heat in there in Summer. I just about remove everything in Summer, just too hot in there. I do have two fans to circulate and remove some of hot air, but it's expensive to run fans all day.
Domehomedee I started them in flats and transplanted to Styrofoam cups, in a couple weeks I will transplant to one gallon pots. I am growing them to sell but do plan to keep a few of each for myself. I will end up with mine in at least 5 gallon pots and will remove the plastic and store it for next winter, replacing it with a 20 X 20 shade cloth. I have a gofer or something that takes everything I put in the ground so until I can be rid of the varmint/varmints I need to grow in pots. I presently have 3 large plastic barrels of water in there and they don't absorb the heat to well. I'm planning on getting some 55 gallon metal barrels, paint them black so they will draw the heat. I've done a lot of research on line that shows it will put off heat as it cools down, but my white plastic barrels don't draw much heat. We're past our freeze spell now but just in case I have two large heat lamps I can turn on if necessary. On very nice sunny days I've opened one end partially as it gets quite warm in there (up to 93 degrees). Its also very humid which helps as they don't dry out as fast and don't have to water very often. I have grown tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, and squash here all summer but have to mulch it real well. The secret for tomatoes is to transplant them several times, each time deeper, then when you put them in the ground as deep as you can, then deep water them and mulch well.
Sorry everyone, thought I had posted some . Will try to do some now. Everything is doing great. Once it warmed up so I didn't need the plastic I took it off and have now added 50% shade cloth. Ok, pics aren't in order, but you'll get the idea. First 2 were taken when I started and the last 2 after if warmed up a bit, between when the plastic came off and the sunscreen went on. Everything did well. I've sold $97.50 to date and haven't really had time to advertise yet. Really need to get busy with that as these babies need to get into the ground or something.
Pam, smart idea using the mesh. I have thought about building a double-walled hoop house. the inner house would be smaller than the outer house and the walls would be locked into the same base. This would create an air gap between the two and allow the inner house to hold heat longer during cooler nights.
Good idea tucsonplumeriaz. I'm thinking about that too, after last night's storm took the plastic and almost took the greenhouse. I may just build a frame one with the rigid plastic. Not sure, but will build a small hoop with the cattle panels somewhere sheltered.
If you take the same size pvc pipe as you build your hoop house and split it down the middle and the halves in 5 or 6 inch sections, you can a self starting screw to hold the plastic onto the hoop house. I didn't do this this year and did have the plastic blow half off once and had to re-fasten with big clips. My brother came by and cut the pvc for me about the time I was ready to take the plastic off. I put them up with the plastic so I'll be prepared next winter.
Hi there, I have been following this thread and I thought maybe you'd enjoy seeing my hoop house. I built it using the basic plans at: http://www.albertahomegardening.com/how-to-build-an-inexpensive-hoop-style-greenhouse/
I made the ends solid with double doors and two windows (18" square opening with a hinged door for a fan).
Sorry to hear your plastic blew away, it's the most expensive part! Maybe you could use a wood base to keep the wind from getting under the plastic. We have had a lot of wind this last week and I haven't had any trouble. I love my hoop house - it's been sooo much fun. Anyway here are some pics.
Thank you, gemfire and Domehomedee for the pictures of your wonderful greenhouses. Mine is cattle panels on a 4' cement block pier/wall. I think if I had had 6 mil plastic instead of 4 mil (all I could get here, at the time) and had boards at the stemwall/bottom of the hoop plus cables across it would have kept the plastic from billowing. I think it needs a skeleton of wood at the ends and an arbor and braces inside, as it is an 8' hoop over a 12 x 16 area. The span needed support to keep the wind from mashing it down (it was scary, I thought any minute the cattle panels were going to pop out of their holdings and crash into the big windows, as it looked like someone was pushing the sides way down.) After the torn plastic was pulled off midst the wind (thanks to my helper) the hoop quit doing that, and the windows were saved. I will probably make a lower hoop 6 or 7 feet tall, with hay bales stacked two-high around the bottom, which was a successful hothouse used last year. That's the quickest way to have a place to go with a lot of my veggies started already. I will probably do the Dutch buckets and hydroponics in the greenhouse this time. So much easier and less time consuming, since I'll have outdoor beds to grow this year. The lower tunnel sure doesn't catch as much wind. Ultimately, I would have preferred a clear swimming pool cover. Much tougher than plastic film. Costly, though. Thank you for your suggestions. I will seriously consider all.
My growing season here, by the way, is only 90 days, and some years, that's stretching it. Can't plant out until June 15 and first frost is between Sept 5 and 15, so having a place to put the seedlings, before transplanting, is a very real necessity.
That's a real challenge, having such a short growing season. We have half the year here for almost all the veges and then we can grow cool weather ones even longer than that. I already have tomatos coming on the vines and the lemon cucumbers have blooms. You must have to be very organized in order not the miss start time. I can wait until I see vege starts in the stores and still have plenty of time to start seed. I love the idea of the straw bales, they could add a little head room. My plastic is really thick, it was quite expensive. I'm hoping to get 3 years out of it although I have already had to replace the plastic on the door panels because of tears and it felt a little brittle already and it's only been a year and a half.
Domehomedee wrote: My plastic is really thick, it was quite expensive. I'm hoping to get 3 years out of it although I have already had to replace the plastic on the door panels because of tears and it felt a little brittle already and it's only been a year and a half.
Do you recall if that plastic was UV rated? Mine would shed like a snakes skin in a year. I finally figured out to buy at least 6 mil and UV rated. Then it would last 3 years here but expensive it was!!!
mine was only 4 mil as that was all I was able to get around here. Domehomedee I like the idea of the solid ends. How big is your hoop house? I wanted to put some on mine with doors but this was done on a spur of the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to add solid ends with doors when I build my 2nd one and maybe a little more stability. But I will have to say its held up pretty good with the winds we've had. My plastic still seems pretty good and is folded up in my shed for next winter.
MIne is 12' x 32'. It cost around $600., $200 of that was the plastic. It could still use better circulation, it gets too hot in there for anything except hot house vegetables and seed trays in summer. I've already moved everything else out this year already. My lemon cucumbers are already over 2 feet tall! I'm trying melons this year, I hope they do well in there, it would be fun to grow our own cantalopes and honeydews. I live in a wooded canyon near the coast so the days are too short and cool for a lot of the "hotter" climate veges, the hoop house could really make a difference as to what I can grow.