Hoop house update – warm-season crops
You’ll recall that my husband, Bill, and I built a small hoop house last Oct. for the purpose of growing veggies through the winter months.
Well, there’s no point in not using it year-round, right? My plan has been to grow warm-season crops in it during the main growing season to see if they will grow more vigorously and be more productive.
A week ago, I planted it. There are 5 ‘Jetstar’ tomatoes growing in one of the two raised beds (photo above), and 6 cucumbers (‘Platinum’ and ‘Straight Eight’) and 6 melons (‘Arava’ and ‘El Gordo’) growing in the other bed (see photo below).
So far, they’re doing really well. I’ve been concerned that the hoop house might actually be too warm for them but they haven’t wilted or looked stressed in any way. Bill plans to install a second door in the hoop house so we’ll get more cross ventilation, along with making it easier for pollinators to get inside.
The tricky part was putting in some trellises for the tomatoes and cucumbers to grow on! As usual, I’m growing the tomatoes along a 4′ x 8′ sheet of concrete-reinforcing wire that has been stabilized with some sticks of metal conduit; that combination has always worked really well for me. The cucumbers have been given an angled section of leftover cattle panel, also stabilized with conduit.
I’ll keep you posted on how they’re doing. If you’d like to watch the video of the construction of our hoop house, you can view it on my YouTube page.