We built the hoophouse in 2008, and finally this year have gotten to making roll-up sides. Between the shade cloth and the roll up side, I hope it will be a great climate in there for growing hot peppers, tomatoes, melons and cukes — nice and hot, but not so hot they cannot set fruit!
Here’s what we did.
1) In the corner, on the inside of the hoophouse, we added an upright between the side purlin and the wooden base frame. We use metal L brackets on the side purlins because we had some in inventory, and screwed the upright directly to the base frame on the bottom.
2) Using some lathe (from inventory) on the outside of the hoophouse we screwed the plastic to the upright as we did on the end walls. We left a wide space for adding wiggle wire to hold the side in place when we close the hoophouse up in the fall when the weather cools.
3) We cut the plastic next to the lathe. It is now free to roll up or down. I need to order some wiggle wire before the cooler weather arrives.
4) We used fencing staple pounded into the purlins to tip the cut sides up and keep them tidy and out of the way. We will also us fencing staples to tie down the shade cloth and prevent it from blowing away in the wind.
We only opened one side for now. If it still gets too hot in the hoophouse for plants to set fruit, we will open the other side and/or add a larger shade cloth. This cloth is a small one I had on hand from using with my mini hoops in past years. You can see a photo of the shade cloth on the mini hoop here. It also helped reduce the rodent predation before we had a fence.
We still have one more project to tackle on the hoophouse before fall. On the front end wall, when we constructed the hoophouse, I used a piece of ordinary 4 mil plastic sheeting for a small section next to the door. Over the years the plastic became more and more opaque, and more and more brittle, until this spring, it began to fall apart. I’ve taped it together in a few spots, but it has become so brittle it cannot be repaired any more so I need to replace that with some real greenhouse plastic before the fall weather.
I am still extraordinarily happy with the hoophouse, and will build another without thinking twice when this one reaches the end of its life. We talk often about constructing an even larger hoophouse, with space enough for a table and 2 chairs for some winter sun therapy. Ahhhh.