Tuesday, December 08, 2009

White Hoop House

I put up some plastic last year and made a little hoop house to protect winter greens. It was hastily built just in time for a surprise snow storm around Halloween.

This year, I just picked the greens down as low as I could, and mulched them with old straw over a layer of very dry, aged horse manure. I know the spinach will come back in the spring, and I suppose the mustard, mizuna, collards, kale, onions, radishes, and other cold hearty vegies will survive as well.

If not, whatever dies will compost under all that straw, which is now under a few inches of snow. It stays pretty warm under that white blanket--warm enough for things to decompose if not actually live.

This spring, or late winter, if I have any money, I plan to build a slightly larger hoop house, something I can actually walk into instead of crawling under (I have a bad back), and that will get me started much earlier.

In the mean time, I'm going to look into these little hoops at the White House, as maybe they'll make a good low-cost alternative to the big one, and I'll just have to figure out a way to get under there more easily.

in reference to: Our Blog : 12/07/09 - The White House extends its growing season : Slow Food USA (view on Google Sidewiki)


Mikro said...

Hi Scott
I do not expect you to publish this as it contains blatant advertising content, but it is for your information and I hope interest.
Having mini-hoops does not necessarily mean that you will have any more difficulty getting to your veggies than in a walk -in hoop house. If you use a fabric like GrowCover you simply lift the sides, do what you have to do and then drop them again. Have a look at my web site http://www.veggiecare.com/ and you will see what I mean.
I don't know what fabric Mrs Obama is using, it could be a high end Agribond product which is expensive but US made. GrowCover is better (IMHO), less expensive and made in Italy.
When Mrs Obama's garden was first announced I did email the head garden honcho and modestly suggest that he use GrowCover. He hasn't, but he seems to have adopted my suggestion for mini-hoops. So I claim the credit for that!
Anyway, back to your back problem. If your problem is not so much the bending but getting under the covering then a fabric like GrowCover which can be quickly (a matter of a few seconds) lifted up to the top of the hoop will solve the problem. Likewise replacing it takes the same amount of time.
If you want any information regarding mini-hoops or row cover fabric feel free to email me. I will be happpy to help if I can. veggiecare@westnet.com.au
John Walters

Scott Supak said...

Thanks, John. I'm sure your way is a lot less expensive. Ideally, with my bad back, I'd like to have everything up around waist level in a green house, but I sure don't have the money for that... Would be cool, though, to have raised beds up to my hips!

Garden tips said...

sound like a great idea Scott. Anything to provide a bit of protection this time of the year is a great idea.