Quantcast

Grow Food All Winter With a Hoop House

Looking to grow more of your own food year-round? A hoop house could be the answer. 

A hoop house is a series of large hoops or bows—made of metal, plastic pipe or wood—covered with a layer of heavy greenhouse plastic. The plastic is stretched tight and fastened to baseboards with strips of wood, metal or wire. A hoop house is heated by the sun and cooled by the wind. Hoop houses can be erected over a patch of ground or rows of raised beds. They can cost as little as a hundred dollars or as much as a couple thousand dollars.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

With a hoop house, you can count on four to six weeks of extra production in spring and fall, says Mother Earth News. You can grow right through winter, even in the coldest climates, by adding an inner cover inside a hoop and choosing cold-hardy plant varieties.

Plants that do well in a hoop house during the winter include cool season crops, such as lettuce, spinach and other greens. Be sure to select plants that don't need much heat at night. Plant growth in late fall and winter is limited by low temperatures and reduced light. This makes it harder to grow root crops like carrots, beets and radishes, but they may be worth a try, says the National Gardening Association.

Hoop houses are not just for cool-weather vegetable production. You can grow heat-tolerant varieties of crisp, sweet lettuce during the summer by converting the hoop house into a shade house. Remove the plastic skin and then cover the south half of the frame with 50 percent shade cloth. Cool and irrigate the lettuce with mini-sprinklers on the ground or a line of overhead sprinklers.

Washington State University provides a list of websites with complete instructions and materials lists for building a hoop house. Serious hoop houses that go beyond the ambitions of backyard gardeners can check out commercial hoop house construction companies like Tunnel Vision Hoops. Or check out the video below about how to build a small inexpensive hoop house.

 

 

 

 

 

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals
White-tailed deer flee in a nighttime photograph. George Shiras

People Are So Annoying That Animals Are Becoming More Nocturnal

By Jason Bittel

It's official: Animals around the world are sick of our sh . . . enanigans.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Emilie Chen / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Against All Odds, Mountain Gorilla Numbers Are on the Rise

By Jason Bittel

The news coming out of East Africa's Virunga Mountains these days would have made the late (and legendary) conservationist Dian Fossey very happy. According to the most recent census, the mountain gorillas introduced to the world in Gorillas in the Mist, Fossey's book and the film about her work, have grown their ranks from 480 animals in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Add another couple hundred apes living in scattered habitats to the south, and their population as a whole totals more than 1,000. Believe it or not, this makes the mountain gorilla subspecies the only great apes known to be increasing in number.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Garlic mustard flower. Gary J. Wood / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

10 Edible Weeds Likely Growing in Your Yard

By Brian Barth

You work so hard on your vegetable garden, primping and pruning to the point of exhaustion each spring. One of the biggest chores, of course, is weeding. But in doing so, you might be throwing away valuable produce.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Pixabay

If Meditation Is Not Your Thing, Try a Walk in the Woods

By Karin Klein

There are times when I don't know what to do with myself. I feel at odds with the world, irritated by the people in it, in a funk about myself and what I'm achieving or, rather, not achieving, overwhelmed by the obstacles and complications of life. Happiness seems like an entirely elusive state of being.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights
Bill Hinton / Getty Images

Fake Grassroots Campaigns Deserve Uprooting

AstroTurf looks and feels like grass—in an all-too-perfect way. But it's not grass.

Now the well-known artificial turf's brand name has taken on a new meaning, referring to purported "grassroots" efforts that are actually funded and supported by industry and political entities.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
A photo posted by Hard to Port shows an Icelandic company having killed what some say is an endangered blue whale. Hard to Port / Facebook

Some Experts Say Icelandic Whaling Company Killed an Endangered Blue Whale

Anti-whaling group Hard to Port posted photos on their Facebook page Tuesday that activist group Sea Shepherd claims show an endangered blue whale recently killed by an Icelandic whaling company, the Australian ABC News reported Thursday.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health

Kentucky Law Could Restrict Health Care for Miners Suffering From Black Lung Disease

A Kentucky law that goes into effect Saturday could make it more difficult for miners suffering from black lung to claim federal benefits, Vice News reports.

The law mandates that only five of Kentucky's 11 pulmonologists, or lung experts, may examine miners' X-rays in benefit claims.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Yannick Croissant / CC BY 2.0

Sorry AC/DC, Rock and Roll Is Noise Pollution

By John R. Platt

It's a rare scientific paper that cites both biologist E.O. Wilson and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!