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Hoop House Question

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Hoop House Question

Post  donnainzone5 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:04 pm

With daytime temps in the 30s and 40s, should I aereate my veggies by rolling back the frost cloth and plastic? It's also been windy. There are two slits in the plastic.

This is quite a transition from gardening in coastal Southern California!

So far, the peas, etc. are doing well. In fact, said peas are still blooming! This despite a dusting or two of snow. What a Face
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re: Hoop House Question

Post  happycamper on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:43 am

Glad to hear your peas are doing well. I don't think people give them enough credit as they are actually pretty hardy plants.
If you have slits in your plastic that provide enough fresh air, then you probably won't want to open them.
I have to admit that I will go for a week or longer in the late fall and winter without opening the plastic to give the beds fresh air and I have not had any type of mildew issues. I want to state that I get frequent winds and due to transpiration (interior sweating) under the plastic there is greatly reduced watering during this time also.
I don't get direct sun on my garden during late fall/winter either and when the daytime temps are in the 50's, I do vent the beds. Happy fall and winter gardening!
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Re: Hoop House Question

Post  donnainzone5 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:35 am

Thanks for your helpful reply. Just to be on the safe side, I think I'll add a couple more slits to the plastic today. There IS interior sweating. The carrots, Asian greens, lettuce, beets, and garlic are doing well.
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Re: Hoop House Question

Post  yolos on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:53 pm

This is my first year doing a large size hoop house (9 x 9). Last year I did a small one (wagon type) over one 4 x 4 bed with fall type vegetables. This year I am trying a large one with potted summer vegetables inside trying to extend the harvest of the tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers and black eyed peas. I have a few questions concerning the slits you both are talking about.

Don't the slits in the hoop house plastic allow too much cold air in during the night or cold weather? Or do you seal up the slits when it gets cold.

How big (long) are the slits?

Are you heating the hoop house?
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Re: Hoop House Question

Post  donnainzone5 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:10 pm

Yolos,

I don't think I can be of much help in answering your questions, since this is my first attempt with a hoop house.

However, the slits are about 6" long. The plants need to breathe. Please note that beneath the plastic sheeting are two layers of frost cloth. No, I haven't tried to heat this 4' x 4' bed.
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Re: Hoop House Question

Post  yolos on Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:30 pm

Thanks for your quick response, but I have another question. It makes sense to put the slits in the plastic if the frost cloth breathes. But does the frost cloth breath? I thought you had to remove the cloth the same as the plastic or it would get too hot. I think my confusion may be because it gets down to freezing here (Georgia) at night and then warms up significantly during the day making it too hot under the frost protection.

I will have to do some more research on this issue. I have Agribon 19 which I intended to use when the weather starts getting colder. The 4 ml plastic does not seem to keep the interior air of the hoop house any warmer at night. The temperature on the outside is not much different than on the inside if just the plastic is used. So I am going to try Agribon directly over the veggies, then the plastic on top of the hoops.
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Re: Hoop House Question

Post  donnainzone5 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:52 pm

Yolos,

Yes, the frost cloth breathes and also helps protect the plants from direct contact with the plastic when it freezes. I had the unfortunate experience of nearly losing several plants because they got frost-nipped by the 6 ml. plastic sheeting, which was touching the taller veggies.

From what I understand, it's okay to leave the covers on during the day when the high temps are in the 30s and 40s. If our current forecast is accurate, I should be able to uncover the garden in a couple of days.

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