The use of covers has become an increasingly popular option for growers searching for chemical-free ways to manage weed pressure and exclude insects. On many market farming operations, the use of covers is a vital aspect of the systems of production. Here, we break down the most commonly used covers and how to use them.
The strength and interior air volume in hoop houses are made possible to the millennia-old building shape, the arch. Pipes equally bent into roughly half circles are very strong, especially when properly connected. Arches evenly distribute weight and live loads (wind) to the ground posts and in turn the ground.
End walls seem to give folks anxiety. From a structural standpoint, the hoop house itself isn’t reliant on the endwalls to stay up. However, having contact points to secure greenhouse plastic is very important.
Caterpillar Tunnels are relatively inexpensive, temporary hoop houses that resemble the bug they are named for. 'Cat Tunnels' are designed to be structurally simple and low cost. For this reason, they lack many of the components that add to the rigidity of a structure, including endwalls. If you already have incorporated a caterpillar style tunnel into your operation, it is absolutely possible to reinforce it.
Polyethylene plastic is popular cover option for greenhouse structures. It is a great option for farmers looking to use a structure for season extension. A good quality polyethylene greenhouse plastic should last you at least 4 years even in high UV environments when installed properly.
At Bootstrap Farmer we field a lot of calls from people looking to build their first hoop house. We get questions from every possible type of person. Often this is the biggest construction project that folks have taken on, so there are naturally many questions. People are terrified to make a mistake. Given the job hoop houses have of protecting valuable crops as well as a significant up front investment, we certainly understand how important it is to build it right the first time.
Just like people, plants need a steady supply of fresh air to thrive.Greenhouse ventilation is a necessary feature that every operation needs to support the health of their plants. Learn what you need for a qualitygreenhouse ventilation system.
Shade cloths are an essential tool for a successful growing season. They are usually made of woven polypropylene fabric and can be added to any structure. The main function of shade cloth is to protect the plants. The light diffusion percentage is chosen based on the plant's light needs and the local climate.
Pest control is top of mind for any farmer or gardener, whether they're growing in a greenhouse or the great outdoors. However, pesticides and insecticides are indiscriminately harsh and often wind up killing pollinators that help plants thrive. Luckily, you can always rely on nature's pesticide: beneficial insects.
Choosing a high-quality plastic pays in volumes throughout the growing season. Although it is a greater investment, it can be an asset that can last many seasons and pay for itself many times over through the increases in production. Quality plastic provides many more benefits than merely covering a structure. Opting for the cheaper plastic may seem tempting, but in our opinion, a high-quality plastic will pay greater dividends in comparison.
Just like water and sunlight, soil plays a crucial role in the success of garden plants and crops, containing all the essential minerals that encourage growth. However, this also means that the opposite is true — if your soil isn't suited to the plants you're trying to grow, you're in for a difficult time. Testing soil pH is a simple and effective way to get a read on soil quality and make necessary changes before you sow your seeds.
Are you asking yourself, what size plastic do I need for my hoop house? The size of your greenhouse film isn't necessarily determined by just the length and width. You must account for the total length of the pipes you are using to complete a hoop, and also your endwalls.
The beautiful thing about modern greenhouse and high tunnel technology is that your operation no longer has to stop or slow down during the long, cold winter months. But along with having a properhigh tunnel winter growingsetup in place before winter comes knocking, it's also crucial to have a planting schedule laid out so you can have the most successful winter harvest possible.
A traditional andhigh tunnel greenhouse have many similarities, but several key differences that could affect your buying decision as well. Find out more about these two greenhouses to determine the best choice for your operation.
This calculator estimates the load local to your area. If you need certified calculations for your structure, you'll need to work with your own engineer. This calculator is only meant to serve as a reference,not an official measurement of snow load local to a given location.
With the recent surge in small scale farming, the decisions of what infrastructure to get and when to get it are paramount to any aspiring farmer. Infrastructure allowing farms to extend the growing seasons are especially advantageous; therefore, it is no surprise that the caterpillar tunnel and high tunnel discussion inevitably arises when looking at the options available. But what exactly are the pros and cons, and what are the big differences between the two?
Experienced farmers will often tell you how the sun passes over the farm at different times of the year, even if they aren’t talking in terms of north, east, south, and west. They may point to the path across the sky, describing the pattern. As the sun sinks into the sky during the short winter days, they’ll tell you about how that group of tall trees next to the garden casts a long shadow over a full quarter of the garden area, although it still protects it nicely from strong winds. Nearly every farm has microclimates of one sort or another.
Lock channel and spring wire is the industry standard for properly securing greenhouse plastic. Installing lock channel and spring wire is a simple and economical way to install greenhouse coverings, including poly plastic and shade cloth, to a structure. Spring wire, used in conjunction with lock channel, form a tight and secure attachment of your greenhouse covering.
Polyethylene plastic is an affordable covering for greenhouse structures. It's easy to install and is much less expensive than glass panels or rigid plastic sheets. It is the most popular choice among small commercial and home growers. A good quality polyethylene greenhouse plastic should last you at least 4 years even in high UV environments when installed properly.
Want to build a greenhouse? This guide will give you detailed plans on building a greenhouse while minimizing cost and maximizing efficiency. The greenhouses we prefer to build are known asQuick Hoop or Hoop Houses. Quick hoop houses are a cheap way to build a greenhouse and don't require a team of people for construction. These hoop houses can be built by one person with the occasional helping hand.
One of the first things you want to consider when building your DIY greenhouse is where to place it. Since a greenhouse is a semi-permanent structure, you will want to carefully decide this. There are a few factors which are crucial to consider.
A Beginners How-To Guide for Building the Most Cost and Time Efficient Year Round Greenhouse with 600 Square Feet of Space!
Have you ever been intimidated by the complexity and cost of building a greenhouse? I used to be. I first started researching greenhouse designs and costs to begin a hydroponic farm-to-table business. I had no idea what I was doing, so I had no clue where to start. I didn’t have any experience building or working in a greenhouse and had very little money to spend.