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From one end of the Hoopie

Discussion in 'Indoor & Greenhouse Gardening' started by digitS', Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Apr 26, 2011
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    [​IMG]

    This will be "protected growing" even if it isn't officially indoors or a greenhouse. I will take another picture of it once it is covered with plastic and has some flats of plants in there.

    That will happen soon since serious overcrowding status has again been achieved in the greenhouse and tunnel! What will probably go in here are some plants that can take a frost and I'll just leave them day & night - uncovering them during hours of sunlight. (We had liquid sunshine today :rolleyes:.)

    I just wanted you to see how simple what I call a "hoopie" can be! These are 10' sections of 1/2" pvc pipe, pushed over 3/8" rebar. They will be covered with construction-grade 6-mil plastic. As hardening off continues apace, this is a handy way of getting plants under cover, overnight. I have also set hoopies up in the gardens.

    I quickly set one up over a bed of zinnias last season when late frosts threaten to make me look like a complete idiot for transplanting those tender babies too early. The zinnias survived under the hoopie for 3 days and had a splendid season, fortunately :throw.

    I've also planted under these -- setting out hardy Asian greens very early in the season. Even tho' they can take a frost, veggies like that can really benefit from a little protection.

    Another stake is driven into the ground in the center at both ends. That is what the plastic film is tied to. The edges of the plastic can be held down with soil, brick or, I like to use long boards. That way, I can roll the plastic up, around the board.

    I'll show you over the next few days what I'm about . . . here. near the 49th parallel ;).

    Steve
  2. Apr 26, 2011
    Collector

    Collector Deeply Rooted

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    It looks like it will work great! I need something like that or a coldframe to get our plants outside,we are now all huddled at one end of the table for dinner.
  3. Apr 26, 2011
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    That would make a far more interesting picture, Collector!

    LOL

    Steve
  4. Apr 26, 2011
    lesa

    lesa Garden Addicted

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    Love that long view, Steve! I keep thinking about setting something like that up, right in the garden- to extend the season. So far, haven't got past the "thinking" stage!
    Collector, I think you would really benefit from a cold frame setup. The most difficult part about starting seeds indoors- is getting them used to outdoors! The cold frame really goes a long way to solving that problem. They really don't need to be fancy...
  5. Apr 26, 2011
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    I've made them up to 25 feet long, Lesa.

    You have to be concerned about wind if they are of any size but it is a simple matter to use baling twine and run it over the top from opposite corners with 4 more rebar stakes to tie it down.

    This is essentially the construction of my larger tunnel in the backyard. The only difference there is that it uses 15 foot pvc pipe and the center pathway is excavated about 16" below grade. (Today, my tunnel's outdoor vestibule is a little rain-flooded :rolleyes:!) The 9' by 20' tunnel is very well protected from the wind.

    But anyway, the one over the zinnias and others that I have set up in the garden have been 4'wide, 25' long. Not much choice about the zinnias - if it blew away, it blew away! The plants would have been froze black without it.

    I've even had bok choy damaged by frost in a hoopie! They aren't perfect frost protection but I bet if 2 small hoopies were set up over the beds inside the plastic tunnel - it would take temperatures near zero F to risk any harm to something like bok choy ;).

    Steve
  6. Apr 26, 2011
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Addicted

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    Steve, do you attach the plastic to the hoops with anything? Or does it just get held down on the bottom edges?
    I was thinking of something along these lines as a semi permanent
    (summer) structure over my tomatoes. Sure would like ripe tomatoes this year...sigh...
  7. Apr 26, 2011
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    They are just held down by the crossed twine over the top, tied to the end stakes, and the weight on the outside edges, Thistle'.

    I've seen them with home-made "clips" on the pipes. These were just cut pieces of pvc with 1 screw thru them.

    Last year was the first year for me to leave a couple of tomato plants in the greenhouse thru the growing season. The floor in there is just dirt so they had a place to grow but I don't think I'll do that again. I had a little trouble remembering to water them.

    Anyway, I was not only impressed by their size by the end of the season but the health of the plants. Protection of most any sort, I suspect, would benefit tomatoes. I've even thought about putting a clear plastic "fence" around them. Many folks, of course, rap their tomato cages in plastic during the 1st weeks of the season.

    If your plants are already outdoors . . . what have you done for protection? You have snow this morning, right?

    Steve
  8. Apr 26, 2011
    lesa

    lesa Garden Addicted

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    Interesting about keeping plants in the greenhouse for the season... I was thinking it was a great idea- except for the watering part! I'm going to try my sweet potatoes, a couple melons and at least a cherry tomato- just for the experiment.
    I saw somebody wrap their tomato cages with bubble wrap- that seemed kind of inspired...
  9. Apr 26, 2011
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    I'm curious how things are going for you in the new greenhouse, Lesa!

    I just open it up completely thru the summer. Since it is actually a sunshed with an insulated roof and because the sun gets so high around here during the summer - there isn't a whole lot of sun inside and it isn't terrible hot. Plenty warm, just not terrible . . .

    Greenhouses are wonderful things.

    Steve
  10. Apr 26, 2011
    journey11

    journey11 Garden Addicted

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    That's how I've done mine, but I keep losing my rebar in our clay mud. :rolleyes: I bought a bunch of 1/2" EMT (metal conduit for electrical wire) and gonna give that a try. I use rocks, but boards sound better...maybe I'll get some cheap landscape timbers for the job. Rocks take too long to put on and off and sometimes poke holes in the plastic.

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