Creating a hoop house (eventually)

110829 P1460326I want to have fresh greens during the winter season without having to go outside to cover a lot of vegetable beds (in the bitter cold and wind) prior to bad weather setting in . . . and then going back out to uncover all those beds when it warms up . . .  and then covering them up again . . .  I’ve done that for a few years now and it’s not a lot of fun even though it does keep the lettuce alive through the winter.

I decided to create a “cool greenhouse” which means that it’s not heated.  In fact, I’m planning on a hoop house.  The first step was connecting with the Deva of the Garden to determine the location of the hoop house as well as its size.  The next step was building the framework on the slope.

I ran into one challenge with digging up and removing the grass from the area:  the telephone line runs just below the surface through the middle of this bed.  Thankfully, I found the line without cutting it.  I took a long piece of narrow-walled pipe that was lying around and cut it in half lengthwise to place it over the phone line and protect it from me and my shovel.

After laying all the block, I hammered in some re-bar (left-over material stored in the garage) to peg the block together and provide some resistance to the vegetable bed soil pushing against the block.  Then I lined the bed with landscape fabric (lying around on a shelf) to keep the soil from seeping out between the blocks.

110830 P1460392I opened another coning with the Deva of the Garden and inquired which seed to plant.  The bed is now planted with three kinds of lettuce, mizuna, garlic, spinach, mustard greens, orach, bok choy, arugula, onions and nasturtium.  Not exactly typical winter growing veggies — but I expect them to at least get started growing before the cold weather arrives.  After I build the “top” which will cover the bed, the plants should survive well through the winter.

I gathered partially mulched leaves and covered the soil after planting the seeds.  The last two steps for the foundation are to “back fill” around the block and then cover the surrounding area with cardboard and the cypress blend chips which have been the material of choice for the paths between the vegetable beds.

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One Response to Creating a hoop house (eventually)

  1. Thanks for posting this thorough and interesting accounting of your hoop house. Where I live we have a walk-in greenhouse (unheated) as well as less permanent heavy plastic/pvc pipe greenhouses, for winter gardening. It is awesome to be able to grow food year-round in North Carolina.

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