Help From a Hoop House

When the month of March arrives, I start to bubble up inside. Spring! Granted, here in Michigan, the month of March can equal snow, rain, hail and/or 60° weather. One never knows what to expect! Needless to say, this month of awakening always makes me feel like I have survived another winter and am able to relish, once again, in the beauty of spring.

March is also exciting, for our little farm, Indigo Acres, begins to come alive.  Voices of baby chicks and ducklings echo through the barn, while meat birds begin their 8 weeks of growth, soon to provide quality meat for our family and friends.   It is during this exciting month that we are also able to start planting cold crops.  Although it is still too chilly for these young seedlings outside, our hoop house and cold frame provide protection from the wind and just enough extra heat for those tiny seeds to sprout and flourish.

There are many cold hardy crops that are perfect choices for planting in our hoop house, especially GREENS!  Lettuce, kale, spinach, swiss chard, cilantro, broccoli, peas, and bok choy are some of our favorites!  Constructing this 8′ x 16′ hoop house was one of the best choices we have made since Indigo Acres was established in 2014.  In Michigan, our growing season tends to be from May-September, depending on the crop.  For less than $200 our growing season was able to be extend from March through November.  With Wifey’s stubborn determination, constant experimentation and our animals’ fresh manure, I am sure we will be growing crops year round in the near future!

I hope you enjoy this step by step breakdown of our hoop house construction adventure…

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3  – 16′, 6×6 treated boards were sunk in the ground.
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4 –  16′ x 50 ” cattle panels were slightly overlapped.
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The cattle panels were secured into the foundation using 1″ U-nails.
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3/4″ PVC conduit was connected and bent for support at both ends.
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2″x 3″ treated boards were cut to create end supports.  Deck screws were used to attach materials together.
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Soil was amended using our farm compost and tilled in.  6 mil clear poly was placed over the panels and secured to the foundation using 2″x 4″ boards. Then, the poly was folded and stapled to the wooden frame.
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The door and back window were built and covered in poly separately, then hung on the hoop house for cross ventilation.
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Inside, we built raised beds, filled them with farm compost and planted. If temps fall below freezing, we use frost blankets for extra protection.  On a sunny, 40 degree Michigan day, the hoop house temps can range from 60-80 degrees!

Embrace this beautiful spring season and everything it has to offer! 

Now get out there and plant something amazing!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You!

Roda

4 thoughts on “Help From a Hoop House

  1. Wow Roda. I am in absolute admiration. My wife and I aren’t even able to grow carrots in our garden!
    I love the DIY green house.
    Enjoy and take care
    Uwe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great idea for a greenhouse. We have the cow panels as a trellis bent over just like this for our grapes to grow on. Our grapes are in raised beds on the left and right side. In the spring and summer it makes a really nice tunnel but in the wintertime, it is quite boring.

    Liked by 1 person

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