The hoophouse

IMG_2058Shortly after constructing the hoophouse in the summer of 2008, I read that the off gassing of PVC conduit would hasten the degrading of the greenhouse cover.  It was too late to change it, but I wondered how long my cover would last.  The answer is 4 years.  Earlier this year I noticed that the cover looked like it was fraying over the ribs, especially at the very top where the two piece of pipe meet in a pvc connector, but couldn’t do much about so went on with life.

IMG_2059Upon arriving home from our summer adventures, I discovered that the hoophouse cover had torn, probably in a big storm we had in late July.  Climbing up on a stepladder to look at it, it was clear it was just a matter of time before the plastic over every rib would fail.  Over every rib the plastic had degraded.


What to do?  I love the hoop house.  It makes a huge difference in season extension, and with it I can eat from my own garden from 3 or more additional months every year. Clearly, we will have a hoophouse — but do I repair this one, or build a new larger one?  That is the question that has me stumped.

I have enough greenhouse plastic left to completely cover a similar or even slightly larger hoophouse.  Do I completely dismantle this one, replace the ribs and make a larger hoophouse?  Or stick with what I’ve got, recover this frame, and plan on a bigger more deluxe model in 4 years?  What to do?

In the end, a long succession of rainy weekends and indecision became inaction, and the hoophouse sits, unloved and forlorn, with no greens planted for the spring.  Instead, Dan and I began the bathroom renovation and since then at Henbogle it has been all bathroom, all the time.  Between work, the rain, and the weeds, I did not even get garlic planted!  I am thinking in the end, we will recover this frame this spring on a warm day, and in 4 years I will be enjoying a bigger, better hoophouse.  But you never know.




3 Responses to “The hoophouse”

  1. jennifer fisk Says:

    I would put a new cover on it and worry about “what to do” in another 4 years.

  2. Julie Says:

    Hi Ali, glad to hear from you. Those little inside projects can somehow snowball and linger on and on. I’m sure the new bathroom will be wonderful upon completion. I’d put the hoophouse on the back burner for now, sleep on it!!! Hope things are well in your neck of the woods, greetings…Julie.

  3. Sara Says:

    Hey, good to see you posting :)

    I’d say 5 years is pretty good, and you have the materials on-hand. Unless you’re itching to expand sooner than that, in which case, go for it! Could you coat the PVC in something? Paint/duct tape?

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