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Dave: Hi, I am Dave Epstein, this is Growing Wisdom. I am here today with Suzy Anderson and we are at Johnny’s selected seeds in Albion, Maine. We are in one of their big hoop houses and it is a good thing because these tomatoes would be dead come tomorrow morning. We were talking earlier frost tonight, temperature is down in the upper 20s maybe low 30s. This is a big hoop house but a homeowner they can do a smaller version of this and keep their tomatoes going as well, right?
Suzy: Absolutely, yes. At 20 feet it would probably do most homeowners good.
Dave: So Suzy, how easy is it to actually build even the smaller hoop house if somebody would like that.
Suzy: It is quite, you can construct out of wood or if you have a pipe bender at your service you could bend some pipe to construct the one or you can do it out of PVC plastic pipe. And then, you just get a one year plastic film and throw it over there. Some insect screening to keep your pests out and you are all set to go.
Dave: Obviously, it keeps things a little bit warmer in here on a night like what we have coming up for tonight. There is also a lot of other benefits of having a hoop house.
Suzy: Yes. You can make extend the season on either side. You can control your moisture, control the insect pressure and disease pressure. You want to make sure it does not get too hot by adding some aggressive kind of ventilation with fans. It also opens up the variety choices that you have because you do have a longer growing season.
Dave: So if a tomato variety takes 75, 80, 90 days, that is okay in the regular garden. I have enough time but would there be varieties to take 100 and 110 days that you could now grow in here?
Dave: So what are the five steps to set this up?
Suzy: Do your soil test about where you are going to be plating your plants. You know how you are going to heat out of your hoop house or greenhouse during the growing season. And think about how you are going to cover the ground to keep your moisture and your weed pressure down. Know how you are going to be training and trellising and pruning your plants. Know your water demands for your plants and get it set up.
Dave: So Suzy, the last point, what is the difference between a hoop house and a green house?
Suzy: A hoop house is passive heat; it traps the heat from the sun under the plastic. A greenhouse, you actually have active heat being put into your structure.
Dave: Thank you very much and we hope you and we hope you can enjoyed this little lesson on hoop houses, greenhouses and how you can extend the season to get growing before that last frost and keep growing after the first frost of the fall season. Come back every week, for all of our tips, hints and helps at growingwisdom.com.