MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Site a Hoop House for Succes

Hoop houses (also known as “high tunnels”) are plastic-covered hooped frames tall enough to walk under that are used to extend the growing seasons of vegetables, flowers, and fruit. They’re also called “unheated greenhouses,” “polytunnels,” and “cold frames.” They can be used for year-round growing of seasonal crops, and although temperatures inside aren’t much higher than outdoors when the sun isn’t shining, hoop houses manage to facilitate impressive rates of growth and quality crops. Generally, hoop houses have no supplemental heating, and crops are grown directly in the ground. Hoop houses are often double-skinned, meaning they have two layers of plastic film, with a small blower keeping the space between the layers inflated. This provides increased insulation and improved strength against winds and snow or ice loads, and lengthens the life of the plastic by preventing flapping and abrasion. Provided winds aren’t strong, overnight winter temperatures in a double-layered hoop house can be about 8 degrees Fahrenheit higher than outside. Hoop house soil temperature rarely falls below 50 degrees in Zone 7a.

If you want to establish a hoop house of your own, here are some factors to consider before you invest in the time and effort, and ultimate reward, of having one.

Siting

Sun exposure is the first important factor to consider when siting a hoop house. Walk around your farm in midwinter, pacing out and flagging several potential sites. The sun will be at its lowest angle during this time of year, and shadows from obstructions will be at their longest. Hoop houses are solar-powered growing zones, so your site needs as much sunlight

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da MOTHER EARTH NEWS

MOTHER EARTH NEWS6 min letti
Bite into Edible Bark
At first glance, bark might seem like something you’d only want to eat in a survival situation. Take a closer look, though, and you’ll see that bark can be both nutritious and tasty. It can also be foraged any time of year, even in regions with harsh
MOTHER EARTH NEWS3 min letti
Mother Earth News Fair
Mastering the money-saving art of sustainable living has never been easier! other Earth News Fair Online is a learning platform that continues to bring educational content to you, with new courses added monthly. Th ere are many rewarding aspects of p
MOTHER EARTH NEWS6 min lettiCookbooks, Food, & Wine
Backyard Tobacco
When we first started growing tobacco, we were afraid of what others might think. However, we knew we wouldn’t be selling it for smoking purposes, and homegrown tobacco is a versatile product. It can add wonderful flavor to your dishes when you bake