Here’s the photo of our hoophouse that we used on the cover of my forthcoming book The Year Round Hoophouse. You can read about it here.
Yes, exciting news! I’ve been writing my second book, the Year Round Hoophouse, I finished the manuscript at the end of February, and New Society Publishers have accepted it. Next steps include copy-editing and marketing. It will be published November 20, and I’ll give you more details as things become apparent. It will likely be 288 information-dense pages for $29.99 (worth every penny at 10 cents a page).
Growing in hoophouses reduces the impact of the increasingly unpredictable climate on crops, mitigates soil erosion, extends growing seasons, and enables growers to supply more regional foods. In one of the only books of its kind, The Year-Round Hoophouse teaches how to design/build a hoophouse and make a success of growing abundant produce all year, for various climates and land sizes.
Here is the list of chapters
Section 1: Design, Siting and Construction
- Hoophouse Siting and Planning
- Style and Design
- Shopping Checklist
- Preparing the Site and the Base
- Frame Assembly, Baseboards and Hipboards
- End Walls
- Roof Plastic
- Drip Irrigation and Outfitting Your Hoophouse
Section 2: Growing Crops
- Other Salad Greens
- Cooking Greens
- Root Crops
- Peppers and Eggplants
- Crops for High Summer
- Bare-Root Transplants
- Seed Crops
Section 3: Keeping Everything Working Well
- Planning and Record-Keeping
- Cold Weather Care
- Hot Weather Care
- Succession Crops
- Crop Rotations and Sequences
- Pests and Diseases
- Salt Build-Up
- Feeding the Soil
- Replacing the Plastic
- Preparing for and Coping with Disasters
Meanwhile, we have finished transplanting about 90 tomatoes into two beds in our hoophouse and have been rewarded by seeing how much they have grown in just one week. They were really struggling in the greenhouse, where the light wasn’t so good, and it was hard to keep them warm through those cold nights. Two weeks ago I included a photo of a cleared space waiting for a tomato plant. Now we’re there!
A few days ago we transplanted one bed of yellow squash (Gentry), chosen for being fast-maturing, productive and having a good flavor. Also a bed of Spacemaster bush-type slicing cucumbers, among the spinach, peas and baby lettuce mix.
Next will be the peppers. We have flagged the bed at spots 2 feet apart. Today I’ll harvest that lettuce mix around each flag, clearing the way to digging holes and adding compost.
In the photo above you can also see the bubble-foil insulation we have on the north wall. It improves the light back there, as well as keeping in some heat. It’s only the lowest 2 feet of the north wall, and very little direct light comes in there, so we gain much more than we lose. Also see the diagonal tubing we added to strengthen the frame at the west end, which is the direction most of the wind comes from.
At last the lettuce has started to grow! We have been struggling to find enough leafy crops to harvest a 5 gallon bucket each day. Today I had no trouble finding plenty of baby lettuce, tender young spinach and baby brassica greens for a salad for a hundred people.
The April Growing for Market is out. The lead article, by Josh Volk, gives ideas for upgrading your packing shed or crop clean-up area. It includes a slatted spray table you can build and some natty clip-on fittings (K-ball nozzles) you can install on PVC pipe to give an easy-to-use sprayer wherever you want one. See below – I haven’t tried them myself.Sam Hitchcock Tilton has a profile of Nature’s Pace Organics in Michigan, and their switch from intensive cultivation to permanent cover crops and strip tillage. Liz Martin has written about the advantages of growing pole beans instead of bush beans. She has trialled different kinds to find varieties that have smaller smoother pods (more like bush beans) and likes Emerita, Blue Lake, Matilda and Cobra. Their trellis uses tall T-posts and two pieces of Hortanova netting. They also grow bean seed using this method. I gather they don’t have Mexican bean beetles or many bean diseases, two of the three reasons we gave up on pole beans. The third is our dislike of installing trellises, which only become worthwhile if your plants will stay healthy for the whole season. Thorsten Arnold writes about their co-op rural online farmers market in Ontario, Canada. Todd Coleman describes how to build and install an in-ground greenhouse heating system, and lastly Gretel Adams in Ohio discusses the many decisions behind building a cut flower greenhouse . They chose a tall-wall three-bay gutter-connected plastic structure installed by Yoder’s Produce Supply. This greenhouse has increased production so much that they are moving into shipping nationally through an online store.
|Drill a 9/16″ hole and attach to pipe. No threading or nipples required, grips the pipe and the body fits in the 9/16″ hole. Spray is fan-shaped with spray angle of 65° at 40 psi and spray density tapers off toward the outside to permit overlapping of spray patterns.
Enjoy your spring!