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Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

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Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

Post  staf74 on 10/30/2011, 10:53 pm

Fellow SFG'ners,

As promised here is my first in a short series of videos to show how I extend my season way beyond first frost. I got lucky last night. We had a pretty good frost and I did not cover up. Nearly blew the whole project before it had even started!

Note to self - DON'T gamble with mother nature.



The plastic (not shown) is regular opaque 6mil thickness from Lowes. It's nothing special and not greenhouse specialty material at all. Found it in the paint section and paid $50 for a 100ft long roll x 12ft wide and its into a 3rd season now (Last fall, this spring and now this fall.) It certainly does the job for me.

Sorry I just threw this vid together before dusk but hopefully you get the idea. Next time I will try to get a video posted from the am and compare the temps from both inside and outside. I usually throw the lights on around midnight before bed but I do have a timer and can set it to go on just as the hourly forecast drops below say 38 to save electricity although these lights are very cheap to run.

Let me know if you have any questions. TTFN.
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Re: Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

Post  janezee on 10/30/2011, 11:37 pm

I'm so jealous! Not only is it neat and tidy, it's also just plain pretty with the lights. I'm working on a similar set-up, but mine won't be as tidy, for sure, lol.
I have just one question. Have you or anyone else done it this way with the lights before? I'm concerned about the wind blowing the plastic against hot lights and melting it. Are they not that hot?
Where I live is really windy.
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Re: Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

Post  staf74 on 10/30/2011, 11:54 pm

Janezee,

Its a consideration for sure but not a concern. Correct ; they really are not that hot. You can wrap your hands around the lights and not burn yourself. It's my 3rd season with this method. The lights are spaced a good four inches from the nearest plastic in any diection and I carefully check that the lights DON'T touch the plastic. The rebar is spaced 6 inches OUTSIDE the beds and so I have enough wiggle room for wind. I make sure the plastic is pretty taut and anchored down on all sides with 4x2 wood so it does not blow around. The rebar really holds the plastic piping in position well. Its a tight fit with 1/2 inch rebar and 3/4 inch diameter piping (but the inner hole is just over 1/2 inch) slipped over it. In heavier winds I add a strip of plastic piping over the top arch and run it all the way along the length of all hoops for additional strength and add more weighty objects on top of the wood.

Never melted (or lost in wind) the plastic yet...fingers crossed I never do Smile
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Re: Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

Post  janezee on 10/31/2011, 1:56 am

Thanks, Graham. I'll be following in your footsteps soon. Mother Nature is being crazy this year!
j
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Re: Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

Post  staf74 on 10/31/2011, 7:53 am

No worries Janezee!!!

I'm sure if i lived in your neck of the woods, that i'd probably need a slightly more sturdier setup also. You must get much more wind than I ..... Good Luck !!!

Quick update - We did get a light frost this AM. However, everything was nice and toasty under the covers. Took them off at 7.15am before leaving for work.
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Re: Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

Post  staf74 on 11/3/2011, 1:05 pm

Quick update - We have had 6 straight frosts in a row. All light to moderate frosts mind you but still able to damage the plants if not protected. Everything working well and the plants have made it through just fine. The main reason is down to my wife. The sun hits the SFG now around 7.45 - 8am with no clouds on the horizon and I'm long gone for work by then. Too chilly to take the chance. Luckily, my wife is able to take off the covers for me and vent the SFG by around 8.30 and let them grow by day. We still reach the mid 60's here each day by the afternoon. We should run into a stretch of days now where the covers are not needed. Looks like we will hit 70 next week also for a couple of days.

So far so good Very Happy
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Re: Season Extension video - My hoop tunnel

Post  Kelejan on 11/3/2011, 3:28 pm

You certainly have lots of nice stuff worth preserving.Very Happy
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