Today, we closed in the open north end of the hoophouse with some aluminum-frame storm windows which became available when we replaced some of the aging windows in our house.
Wow, I LOVE the visibility we have with the glass, and the frames added some rigidity to the structure as well. Where the windows didn’t cover, we recovered with inexpensive plastic sheeting from the hardware store which we also use with good results for small raised bed hoophouses in the garden.
To install, we simply added framing made from a 2’x4′ ripped in half to make a 1’x3′. We then used galvanized self-tapping screws to attach the window frames to the hoophouse framing. The final step was adding the plastic to the uncovered area, and tacking down the plastic with lathe salvaged from a house project. This makes me wish I had a few more windows to replace! I may have to start perusing Uncle Henry’s for some used aluminum windows. It makes the hoophouse a lot brighter, I hope the plants like it as much as I do.We still have not buried the plastic on the sides of the hoophouse. We left it unburied thinking we might want to roll up the sides for venting this summer, but it never really got hot enough to need it. For now, we have covered the plastic with scraps of plywood scrounged from the town’s waster transfer station, where it was destined to be ground up into incinerator chow. I think this is a much better use.
Things are still growing great in the hoophouse — we’ve got lovely lettuce, Swiss Chard, kale, parsley, and leeks, and yes, tiny little green spinach sprouts from the spinach seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago. I really hope this overwinters and comes back to early life next spring. I’d like to try sprouting broccoli again, too. Has anyone ever had success with that? I tried it last year but the plants did not survive.