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August 13, 2014     The Julian News
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August 13, 2014
 

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August 13, 2014 00The Backcountry Gardener n[ '.  by Lisa Rene Anderson[ What is a Hoop House? The next step is to hammer in your rebar every 3' along the inside edge on opposite sides of the length of the greenhouse, leaving the rebar sticking out 1/3 to of the way. Then, with help from a friend, place each end of the 20' PVC lengths into the protruding rebar on both sides, forming an arch. This will create arches about 7' high every 3' along the length of the greenhouse. Then cross bracing needs to be placed. Hoop house framing Many people have never heard of a hoop house. However, hoop houses use one of the easiest construction methods available for making greenhouses and shade porches. Because they utilize a nonpermanent" construction method, hoop houses do not require a building permit and can be moved if you wish. With hoop technology, I built both a 10' x 30' both a greenhouse out back and a 10' x 20' shade house along the west side of our home more than a year' ago. The greenhouse provides us with fresh vegetables and flowers year 'round and the shade house has lowered the summer temperature of our home and made the hot season infinitely more enjoyable. Large hoop structures use 20' long PVC piping bent into a 10' wide arch and anchored in 3' rebar buried at least halfway into the ground. I find that 1 ' wide PVC holds up well in the wind. However, if you are in a windy area, it is best to locate your hoop house in an area where trees or buildings are blocking the prevailing wind. It is important to locate your greenhouse along an east-west axis so the southern sun can shine directly into the length of the structure. PVC piping should first be painted with a high- quality outdoor paint because unpainted PVC can chemically degrade other forms of plastic such as greenhouse plastic. To begin the building process, the greenhouse size and location you desire is marked out on the earth. When using 20' PVC, the width of the greenhouse will always be 10' and the length can be any length in increments of 3', since this is the measurement between each PVC hoop. It's best not to make your greenhouse longer than 30' - 40'. You will want to make the length shorter in a windy area, since the structure can become a bit of a, wind sail. Fortunately, // . / ///! r I Rt(:(:l  I USbT, O1l / I /" ..... 1 / I the structure is rounded at the top which helps wind to move over it more easily. Next, naturally water-resistant redwood or cedar 2' x 6' boards are sturdily connected, around the edges on the groLjnd, using straight and corner metal bracing. Then, if you wish to plant in the ground (as opposed to putting everything in pots), you can plow up the inside area of the greenhouse, before you build it, with a rototiller (and also supplement the soil with compost or topsoil). Just be careful not to dig within 7" of the insides of the edging boards. The rebar anchors for the PVC will be placed along the inside of these boards, so you want the earth surrounding them to remain as firm as possible for bracing purposes. P 3ates Open 7 Days 7a,m, to Dark Office- M-F 9 to 4 closed Sat & Sul Place a door at each end t / Greenhouse plastic for winter growing Some people put cross bracing straight along both sides and the top of the structure. As you can see in the photo here, I used arched bracing overlapped along each side. Once in place, the PVC bracing is tightly connected to the arch framing at each intersecting point with duct tape. Then strong, malleable wire is twisted tightly around this in a figure 8 pattern. This wiring is what will ultimately hold your hoop house together, so be sure to connect the side bracing tightly f You NoT ONLY mo Gooe wont( YOU DID GOOD Y've cared for our community by disposing of your used oil correctly. d you know that oil fiRers need to be recycled too? to the frame arches. Once the frame is in place, 2' x 4's or 2' x 6's are used to create a door frame and then nailed and bolted to the wood edging and end PVC arches (see photo). It's very important to have a door, or at least a window that can be opened, at each end of the greenhouse so a cross draft can be created for air flow. It can quickly get too hot and humid for plants in a greenhouse, even in the wintertime. Doors are constructed from 2" x 2" boards with corner braces and then attached to the door frames using hinges and latches. Then either greenhouse plastic or appropriate shading percentage (30% - 70%) Shade cloth, depending on seasonal requirements, is attached to the frame and doors. It is important to use professional greenhouse plastic and shade cloth bought online from greenhouse supply companies or it will hardly last a year. Two foot high chicken wire can be placed across open doorways to keep rabbits out, but everything must be closed tightly at night if you want to keep rodents out. If you get gopher in your greenhouse during growing season, just pour a mixture of castor oil and cayenne down their holes, and the critters will not readily return. When attaching plastic to the wood frame with a staple gun, duct tape must first be placed ovei- the plastic before stapling or the plastic will quickly rip. I placed my winter plastic over the summer shade cloth so in the winter I Can pull up the shade cloth from inside for full sunshine, without changing out the shade cloth. Alternately, as the seasons change, the southern side of the covering can be released, pulled up and held with large clips found at Home Depot on appropriate days. Shade houses are constructed in a similar fashion to greenhouses. However, 'it's beneficial to place shade houses along the side of your home to add an additional outside area to your home and save on material costs: When attaching a shade house to the side of your home, bracing will be needed only on the outer edge of the PVC arch frame. On the house side, each PVC arch can be attached to the roof overhangs with wire and nails for sturdiness (see photo). There should be no need for a ground level edging frame if the rebar supports are well placed and sturdy. Do be sure when you are hammering rebar into the ground that you will not hit any electric or other utility lines. Many materials can be used for a shade house covering. I sewed together 48" wide lengths of multi-layered thermal fabric with Mylar in the center, sold online for making thermal window coverings. Old quilts or wool blankets would work also. I easily attach the covering to the frame and house overhand with large clips. Watered-down paint can be applied to the outside of any fabric you use to help protect it from the sun. I change out the fabric on my shade house for greenhouse plastic in the winter to provide sunshine and wind protection. I think you will find that having a shade house in an era of fickle weather and global warming will pay off immensely in family enjoyment. And you can't beat growing your own organic food in a hoop house. - Lisa Rene Anderson has been gardening organically for 35 years and specializes in hoop house gardening and landscaping. Find out more at www. BackcountryGardener. com . The Julian News 7 HOME SERVICES Bruce Strachota Grading, Demolition, Underground Utilities, Dump Truck, Excavation, Loader, Bobcat Rental, Rock & Base , //'-4._A cell: 619-972-0152 ii N r m i l m l i l l m l l u l l i l l i l I AQUATREK WATER SAMPLING SERVICE I oO For the health and safety of you and your family, | I U Remember to have your well water tested at least once a year, I : U [:: Public Water System Sampling & Curier Service | | * Residential Sampling/G[M/Pressure/pH I Bacteria/Nitrates/Iron/All Types of Tests ullllll Fll i .j" I ..... 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