Monday, March 31, 2014

A Mini Hoophouse for My Flowers

Potting on Purple Coneflowers and Pacific Giant Delphiniums
 This past weekend was a rather dreary one.  I was able to get some work done in the yard on Saturday, but Sunday was almost completely shut out due to rain.  We must have gotten about 5 - 6 inches worth within 24 hours.  I guess the only upside to all of this rain was that it wasn't snow.  In any case, it gave me an opportunity to get some work done in the comfort of our kitchen.  I spent most of Sunday potting on most of the flowers I'd started in February.  At this point, I have absolutely no choice but to find a new place to house all of these transplants as my indoor shelves are filled to beyond capacity with more flowers and vegetable starts.

 After all of my flowers were potted on, I went to work late Sunday afternoon setting out my flats and constructing a mini hoop house to house them all.  I'd built my raised beds last fall with this eventually in mind so putting it all together was not very difficult at all.  We'd picked up some PVC pipping earlier in the day along with some 2 mil plastic sheeting.  The pipping was bent and pushed into the larger diameter PVC pipes, which I'd previously attached to the sides of my beds.

The plastic sheeting was laid on top and pulled taut against the hoops.  To stabilize the plastic, I laid down some narrow wood planks on all sides and placed some heavy stones on top.  This hoop house is rudimentary at best, but at this point, it's the best I can do.  Sunday night, we experienced some extremely mighty winds.  Fortunately, I was happy to find the hoop house in one piece and practically unscathed when I woke up.

Amazingly, our early spring temperatures have begun to stabilize (or so the weatherman says). Our daytime temperatures are expected to be in the high 40's and our nighttime temperatures are expected to be in the mid to low 30's according to our 10-day forecast.  To be on the safe side, I will add an inner layer of fabric row cover if night-time temperatures creep down to near freezing.  But for now, things look optimistic. 

6 comments:

  1. Your "rudimentary" hoop house is a lot more polished than my efforts. :) It looks like it's getting the job done. I've barely given a thought to flowers this year, I need to get some into the seed starting lineup.

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  2. I love your deep raised beds and the larger pvc pipe attached to boards, it makes installing hoop cover much easier.

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  3. That is a good as my hoop houses ever get. I've got a pile of rocks and old bricks just to weigh the edges down. Today I'm starting to harden off some of my plants. I'll be putting out the onions and some early greens. The weather does look promising for the next week. I hope the forecast doesn't change.

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  4. all of my flowers were potted on, I went to work late Sunday afternoon setting out my flats and constructing a mini hoop house to local florist.

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  5. Thomas, what zone are you in now? Are you able to keep your plants in the hoophouse overnight without heat at all? Are you using heat mats when it's under 40 degrees at night. Nice raised beds!

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    1. Hi Farmer Kate, I'm in zone 6A. I actually don't use any heat mats. In my experience, young plants can tolerate the cold much better than older ones. Our night time temps are expected to be in the mid 30s this week so I think they should be fine. I also have a lot of grass clippings and dead leaves decomposing underneath my raised beds and that coupled with the heat it absorbs during the day seem to keep things a few degrees warmer inside.

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