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The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic

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Post  sanderson on 2/5/2015, 2:10 am

Fantastic! cheers

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Post  sanderson on 2/5/2015, 2:46 am

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought boffer posted his covered wagons. I just love yours.

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Post  has55 on 2/5/2015, 11:42 am

awesome
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/5/2015, 5:28 pm

A practical question for you "great experienced ones," LOL!  I just planted seed in one of the beds yesterday and it's supposed to rain tomorrow.  I think I should cover the hoop house to keep most of the water out, do you think that is a good idea?  Or will they be fine unless it's a gullywasher?
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Post  sanderson on 2/6/2015, 1:37 am

I'm not an experienced one but I will be covering the very tops with plastic. Just in case we get a hard rain.

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Post  Turan on 2/6/2015, 11:58 am

What about just put tulle so a gully washer is gentler over the TT beds?  Plants love rain water so much I would hate to delete it totally.  I bet all your wood chips are going to help that rain soak into your ground well.

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Post  Kelejan on 2/6/2015, 1:30 pm

Sounds like a good idea to me, Turan.
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Post  has55 on 2/24/2015, 9:21 pm

we had a another shot of winter in the Dallas, ft worth, denton, tx area. Had to stay at work to take care of the pt because I got lock in by the ice in decatur, tx. It further north from  denton, tx. Came home and found various things going on in my winter garden. Don't yet iknow f the plants survived. will look closer on Thursday . another wave of snow after MN tonight will be coming in. All I hope for is the plants make it through. I'm not using heater.s I tried to cover some beds with my survival blankets, but they collapse inward in the beds that had a flat covering, because they collected the rain and snow. so took them off and left the insect row covers. Only two beds had frost blankets. so I hoping the rain soak thru the row cover, created a frost insulating shield around the plants to protect against the cold. time will tell. the mini greenhouse did well shedding the snow, but the round low hoop house did the best. 

the vent worked properly. closing when the temp drop below 55 degrees.
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Img_0910


you can see where the sleet collected after I removed the survival blankets. it don't worked on the surfaces that don't a steep slant so the water and snow roll off. I pulled the ice off today since the temp went above freezing and may it soft for easy removal. still too much work. I trek it later this week, hopefully no further collapses after I fixed it. will update. I don't know what I was thinking when I let DW talk me into keeping this type of  frame. Oh well, it a learning experience-the SFG winter Journey.


 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Img_0912

this is the frost blankets . both beds appeared to be ok.
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this is my swiss chard and collard experiment. the swiss chard went thru the summer without shading in 100+ degrees.  it has survive all cold spells this winter. will update. tonight wind chill will be 22 degrees. It's an exciting experiment.

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the rounded hoop house allowed the snow to fall off and it holding it own. the venting system is working well. the square flat top greenhouse collected the snow, but not much because it has a small slant from the middle which allowed most of the rain to slide off. but you can tell it still collected some sleet.
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Img_0916
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/24/2015, 10:45 pm

Oh my, Hass!!!  Looks like you'll be picking up the pieces a bit.  Hopefully things survived for you.

We got deluged.  I didn't get to cover my beds before the rain and could see the "compost tea" in puddles under the beds.  I found some plastic to cover one of the beds and covered it the second day.  I still need to get plastic for the second bed.  I think a little rain is lovely, but with raised, table top beds you just wash the nutrients straight out of the soil when they get too much water.  

Lesson learned Smile
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Post  sanderson on 2/25/2015, 1:46 am

Has, Thanks for sharing. Looks like the gable roofs survived nicely. I'm glad I changed all of my frames to gable design, well, except now I need the 108" tulle for full coverage. The rain collected on the old design plastic covers, even freezing into exciting thick sheets!

Audrey, we didn't get as much rain as you, but I know that feeling watching the "tea" drip out the bottom. It's bad enough during the summer to see a little dripping. Sad I left the plastic off this rain so the beds could get soaked. Maybe a little too much soaked! During our previous rains/sprinkles, I covered the gable top just to the foot print of the bed.

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Post  has55 on 2/25/2015, 2:09 am

@sanderson wrote:Has,  Thanks for sharing.  Looks like the gable roofs survived nicely.  I'm glad I changed all of my frames to gable design, well, except now I need the 108" tulle for full coverage.  The rain collected on the old design plastic covers, even freezing into exciting thick sheets!

Audrey, we didn't get as much rain as you, but I know that feeling watching the "tea" drip out the bottom.  It's bad enough during the summer to see a little dripping.  Sad  I left the plastic off this rain so the beds could get soaked.  Maybe a little too much soaked!  During our previous rains/sprinkles, I covered the gable top just to the foot print of the bed.  
I never thought about the nutrient dripping away after a rain on TT. it probably a sickening type of feeling. on the ground we know it going down, but the micro organism and worms recycle everything. Something for me to address when I do the TT.
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Post  has55 on 2/25/2015, 3:44 pm

had a little snow this morning, so i tried out my head mount for my iPhone. Need some practice, but it went well.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/25/2015, 8:47 pm

@has55 wrote:
I never thought about the nutrient dripping away after a rain on TT. it probably a sickening type of feeling. on the ground we know it going down, but the micro organism and worms recycle everything. Something for me to address when I do the TT.

That's why last summer I went to hand watering even though it took so much time. Because my beds were linked with other beds that took a long time to water, I had rivers of water and nutrients running out of my Table Tops every day and they did not perform nearly as well as they did this year. I learned to count in a pattern so that when I finished just a few drops were coming out the bottom and to adjust how much I was counting for the really hot times.

Of course it's a LOT MORE TIME every day so nothing is perfect Very Happy
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Post  sanderson on 2/26/2015, 1:10 am

I'm finding that the mix in the lower portions of the boxes is soggy. I think will have to really cut back on watering, even this summer, and rely on mulch to keep them evaporating at the top. Anyone else finding this problem? Soggy bottoms? Even in the deeper table tops?

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/26/2015, 2:19 pm

I'll have to check in a week or so after the next rain.
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Post  Turan on 2/26/2015, 9:46 pm

I have had soggy bottoms in 5 gallon pails planted with tomatoes.  It was a nasty septic stinky anaerobic mess.  Basically an inadvertent micro swamp.  The problem is inadequate drainage, but that was not the real cause.  The soil mix needs a better ability have air in it or to drain more itself.  I added extra sand and then it all evened out.  I am guessing you need more vermiculite or a larger size of vermiculite or some perlite mixed into help air get in your mix.

When you guys worry about the nutrients draining out of your TTs do you ever worry about the reverse, a build up of salts from lack of water washing through the mix?  I have seen salts build up on potted plants.

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Post  sanderson on 2/27/2015, 3:25 am

I just realized this is getting off topic. I will start another topic and copy and paste these replies.

Turan,  I haven't seen any sign of salts building up.  Just the soggy Mix at the bottom of the deeper beds.  I thought raising them would take a deeper bed to keep it moist during the hot summer.  You know, the wood bottoms and holes would dry out the deeper roots.  Maybe I have too much compost in the mix!  Imagine that problem.  I'm glad you mentioned the 5-gallon buckets.  Should I drill 4-6 1/2" holes in the sides in the lower half of the buckets?  Like air pruning?  I hope more folks chime in.

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Post  walshevak on 2/27/2015, 3:47 pm

@Turan wrote:
When you guys worry about the nutrients draining out of your TTs do you ever worry about the reverse, a build up of salts from lack of water washing through the mix?  I have seen salts build up on potted plants.
 I don't  because my tabletops have hardware cloth bottoms with weedblock to keep the MM inside instead of plywood.  My son did have "pond beds" that a nursery lady warned me to keep an eye on.  I had him just flush the "ponds" every fall.  And I think the nutrients were collecting in the "ponds" during the growing season and not washing away. 

Kay

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Post  has55 on 3/30/2015, 10:23 am

I had to take off the plastic off my swiss chard bed because we were hitting 85 degrees off and on in March. It's hard to believe the temperature. the plants did well in the hoop house. I haven't taken off the vent yet , but all looks well. no problems with the cabbage worm.

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Post  yolos on 3/30/2015, 1:41 pm

How did the vent work.  I have two of them but have never installed them on any of my hoops yet.  They have been sitting in the garage for a couple years.
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Post  has55 on 3/30/2015, 3:09 pm

@yolos wrote:How did the vent work.  I have two of them but have never installed them on any of my hoops yet.  They have been sitting in the garage for a couple years.
extremely well. I found I needed two swinging doors, one in the front and one in the back to make it easier to get to the food. I was impressed with how well the swinging door work. but that means I would need to reposition the vent on the sides. this was the second year using the vents. On the earlier pictures I explained how I used velcro to secured the plastic to the vents. I used gorilla glue to secure the back side of the velcro to the vent and to the plastic.
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Post  has55 on 11/16/2015, 6:07 pm

Thought it was time to brush this topic off and bring it up from the garden cellar or down from attic for the winter.Very Happy  We have so many new people and so much info on the forum, some of it gets bury.
For anyone interested growing thru the winter with their low tunnel hoop house, I thought I would reintroduced what i did last year. The foundation/crawl space vents with 5 year warranty work well for the 2nd year, but I did not like the set up using PVC glued to snap clamps. I found a better alternative using EMT angle brace adapters. They would support the top and bottom of the foundation vents with a rod screwed into the EMT and the foundation vent flange ( in theory). The idea is to use it on a walk in portable greenhouse from the original hoop bender company-1" OD emt Tubing Angle Brace Adapter
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 122_od10


This adapter works only on 1"EMT, so you would need to create one for 1/2". It can be adjusted to any angle. Looking closely at the product, I believe it can be made from simple fencing material from lowes, etc,,, otherwise use PVC and snap clamps, like I did. 
I glued the back side of velco to the vent's flange and the greenhouse plastic, then push them together, The velcro held it together without any problems, But the PVC snap clamp sometimes popped off (see pictures below). The solution is to reinforced it with a  Tech Screws #10 X 3/4" that is screwed into the EMT. It won't separate. I didn't figured that out till this fall after reviewing one the the original hoop bender picture. 

tech screws
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Tech_s10

snap clamp screwed to EMT with a tech screw
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Snap_c10

foundation vents that automatically open and close to set temp to let heat out of hoop house 
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Img_4010

 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Img_4011

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Survival blankets used to protect cold weather  plants from deep cold. It worked well.
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Img_0710



1" PVC pipe filled with gravel to prevent blowing off and made it simple to lift off the hoops without effort, since I didn't need to remove bricks or dirt.
 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 Img_0711
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/16/2015, 9:33 pm

Interesting that you brought this post back up today as this was the day I set up my survival blanket "greenhouse within a greenhouse" covers.  We're supposed to hit around 30 tonight, so I'm covered and ready to go.  

The survival blankets work incredibly well for us, this will be our third winter using them.  I added salvaged mylar recycled from a local farm and am using it on some of my other plants.  It's about 6 feet wide and I'm cutting them to length and weighting it down just laid over the top of plants I'm trying to extend.  The heat of the earth alone has been enough to keep even squash from freezing this week.  Since our ground never freezes they will likely work for me quite deep into the winter.  

I'll try to remember to take pictures tomorrow  Very Happy
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Post  has55 on 11/17/2015, 6:11 am

look forward to the pictures.
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/17/2015, 6:53 pm

Okay, here we go:

 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 20151117_074446_resized_zpsuwbvklvr

Three sections, the red at the left is a 5 x 10 raised bed that's 12-16" deep soil.  
To the right of this is my seed starting station.
Closest to the camera is a 4x4 raised table top.

The rational for anyone new to this thread, is having a greenhouse within a greenhouse - similar to a double pane window.  The main greenhouse has an 8 foot ceiling which is great for growing not so great for keeping warm!  It keeps temps abou 5 degrees warmer than outdoors.

Inside the red bed when it drops into the 20s we run a small heater with a very low auto temp threshold that only comes on for a bit and shuts itself down so it doesn't cost much to keep it warm enough to keep my tomatoes and peppers very happy.

The seedlings are winter hardy, but it helps keep them strong not to have the very cold temps over night.

The raised bed has herbs, hot chili peppers and a cherry tomato that's massive.  

 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 20151117_074508_resized_zpsoagtlmn6

It takes me 5-7 minutes an evening to close this up and a couple minutes to open in the morning so it's not a big deal.  I try to get out as early as I can so that the plants are still getting as much daylight as possible since these interior covers block the light.

 The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic  - Page 9 20151117_075258_resized_zpspeyic4ie

This is the greenhouse uncovered.
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