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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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plastic for hoop  Toplef10plastic for hoop  1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

plastic for hoop  I22gcj10plastic for hoop  14dhcg10

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plastic for hoop

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quiltbea
Errol
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Post  Errol 3/8/2011, 10:41 am

several replies to my question on hoops yesterday was really great information. I got my PVC pipes this am , but I was also wondering about the plastic covering. I have some 6mm clear plastic, but I also have quiet abit of 6mm black plastic left from another project. Seems the black 6mm plastic would keep the plants warmer in colder weather than the clear, what do any of you think? what would be the difference? Maybe the clear would let the sun through better?
:?:
thanks
Errol
Errol
Errol

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Post  quiltbea 3/8/2011, 12:04 pm

The black will cut your sunshine to the plants themselves.
While it might heat up the soil a tiny bit, and that's very little, its made to prevent weed growth.
I'd use the clear. All plants need sunshine to grow.
quiltbea
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Post  staf74 3/8/2011, 12:25 pm

Depends on "when" you need it for. If you are cold enough where you need it to stay on during the day, then you need clear or opaque plastic for light penetration. If so, then deffo no black. All regular white plastic will filter out UV light somewhat unless its true specialty greenhouse plastic but that's not what you need if you are just looking to keep frost off the plants. In that case, black or white is fine. I used 4mm because it was cheaper. I thought i'd kick myself by not choosing 6mm but have been fine. However, I am in a climate with mild winters that only really "bite" for a week or two.

I agree with Quiltbea and go for clear. You may need to keep it on during the first few hours of the morning sunshine till temps warm up. Then you get the benefit of grow time with sunlight coming through.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/8/2011, 1:00 pm

I only skimmed the other posts.

I, however, would suggest you only use the black plastic for warming the soil temps. I would lay it over my raised bed, anchor it with bricks, and leave it for a couple weeks. That will bring up your soil temps a good bit.

Then, when you decide to plant, you take away the black and store it for next spring. The clear allows the light in to the plants. No way your plants grow when using black with plants inside. And, remember, the thicker the plastic, the better the insulation.....but the more sunlight it cuts. It's definitely a balancing act. 6mm is the thickest I've heard being used.
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Post  Errol 3/8/2011, 4:22 pm

thanks everyone for the suggestions. Well, since I am new to sfg, I went into town today (books a million) and bought myself the newest edition on SFG !! between the book, and you guys and gals on the forum, maybe I can get something to grow!!
thank you everyone
Errol I love you
Errol
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Post  Clayton 3/9/2011, 8:38 am

Staf74 - I'm glad to hear that 4 mil has worked for you. I have nine hoop houses built and I've been debating between 4 mil and 6 mil clear plastic sheeting... but I couldn't find any mention of people's real experience. Thanks!
Clayton
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Post  camprn 3/9/2011, 11:20 am

I'm going from 4mil to 6 mil this spring.
camprn
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Post  staf74 3/9/2011, 12:17 pm

Clayton,

I'm sure you'd be fine in ATL with 4mil. I'm in the Upper Piedmont area SC, a little closer than you perhaps to the foothills and so we get that week or two of nightly teens but other than that we are relatively mild.
Have you followed the Hoop House, please solve" thread? Lots of good info there too Very Happy

Camprn, however, will probably need 6 mil for sure up in Keene. Having lived in Boston for 7 years, I can remember how brutal it can get. Teens and single digits for HIGHS for days on end are the stuff of nightmares for me now. I hope that does not offend our northern friends but
its just that I have to laugh when 30's for January highs ensure the local weather stations emblazon the over-sized graphic of "COLD" over the whole region. We are normally in the 40's even low 50's for normal daytime temps for the worst of winter.....

and the THREAT of snow....OMG. That's entirely another story....
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Post  Clayton 3/9/2011, 1:18 pm

Staf74 - That's my inclination as well. Camprn, I'm curious about your reasoning. Is it for increased insulation? Or mostly for increased durability - - and presumably because of the snow load...

Staf74, I have been following that thread. Lots of great information indeed. My floating covers arrived earlier this week. I also just today found out that my free/cheap source of plastic sheeting is a no-go. So I'm going to be ordering a 100' roll shortly.
Clayton
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Post  camprn 3/9/2011, 3:09 pm

Clayton wrote: Camprn, I'm curious about your reasoning. Is it for increased insulation? Or mostly for increased durability - - and presumably because of the snow load...
Precisely, I may have gotten another 2 weeks out of the hoop last fall but the snow just did it in. And a few too many things went through the 4 mil with ease.

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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/10/2011, 10:09 am

The difference between 3.5mm (4mm rounded) and 6mm plastic was wind. I am not sure how much more heat the 6 mil holds in....pretty negligible imo....but I definitely noticed instant durability with the increase.

A normal "breezy" day for us here in STL is gusts to 20mph....lol. And, days calmer than that were blowing my plastic out from under it's brick anchors. The 6 mil has handled some stormy conditions and 50mph gusts without a hint of a problem....so far.
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