top of page

What is a Hoophouse and How Do They Work?

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

If you're just getting started in the world of farming, the term "hoophouse" might not be one that you're familiar with. For many small-scale farmers, however, hoophouses are an essential piece to their entire operation. So what exactly is a hoophouse and what exactly do they do? A hoophouse, also known as a high tunnel, polyhouse, or polytunnel, is a type of greenhouse that uses an arch-shaped frame and plastic cover to protect plants from external environmental factors such as cold temperatures and pests. This type of structure provides an ideal climate for growing vegetables, flowers, herbs, and other plants in areas with shorter growing seasons. Hoophouses are also used to extend the growing season in winter and early spring.


Benefits of Growing in a Hoophouse


For those looking to grow plants effectively, a hoophouse offers many great benefits. The structures offer a form of protected growing that allows more control over the elements and also offers the following benefits:


Improved Plant Growth — Hoophouses provide improved growing conditions for vegetable crops by creating an ideal environment for increased air circulation, soil temperature control, and water retention. They act like mini greenhouses and can increase yields by up to 30% compared to traditional open-field production. With the proper water techniques, vegetables in the hoophouse grow 1 ½ times faster than the same varieties in traditional outdoor garden beds. This is a huge benefit to those seeking to market their produce.


Pest Control — Using a hoophouse can help you better manage pests by excluding them from your crop while providing shelter from harsh weather conditions. The plastic cover shields against insects and disease while letting light through to the plants.


Protection from Inclement Weather - Hail, which typically hits without warning and can fall from the sky in any season, destroys leafy greens like chard, lettuce, spinach, and beet tops. Harsh winds or torrents of rain can also wipe out a crop in traditional beds. However, under the protective cover of the hoophouse there are no worries about weather related plant and leaf damage.


Extended Growing Season — A hoophouse allows you to extend the growing season by several weeks or months in both directions – earlier in the spring and later into the fall – allowing you to get more out of your garden year-round. In fact if you time your plantings correctly and plant cool season crops in late fall, you will enjoy a harvest through the entire winter season. Growing year round is an absolute possibility and many growers do just that.


How Do You Build a Hoophouse?


For those just starting out, building your own hoophouse requires some basic planning. Below is a list of things that must be considered before beginning the process of building a hoophouse:


Choose Your Site — Look for sites that have direct sunlight throughout most of the day with ample space to fit the size of your desired house. Also, consider which direction it will face (south typically works best) as well as prevailing winds and frost pockets that could affect plant growth.


Choose Your Site — Look for sites that have direct sunlight throughout most of the day with ample space to fit the size of your desired house. Also, consider which direction it will face (south typically works best) as well as prevailing winds and frost pockets that could affect plant growth.


Assemble Frame & Covering — Building the frame first helps ensure accurate measurements when attaching the covering material; otherwise, you may find yourself needing to adjust after covering it up. Be sure to anchor all covered edges securely so they don’t come undone during strong winds.


Maintain Temperature & Humidity Levels — Maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels inside the house is essential for successful crop growth; this can be done using automated climate control systems or manually with fans, vents, or shutters, depending on how frequently you plan on using it.


Hoophouses are an affordable way for small-scale farmers and home gardeners alike to grow their own produce without relying solely on fluctuating outdoor conditions; they allow growers greater control over their environment while still being able to produce high-quality crops year-round. With careful planning and attention paid towards maintenance, they can prove very beneficial investments over time.


If you have any other questions about how hoophouses work, or what it takes to build one, contact the skilled professionals at Roberts Ranch Hoophouses, and we'll give you all the information you're looking for. We want to help you in your hoophouse endeavor in any way we can so reach out today and we'll provide you with the assistance you need throughout every step of the process.

51 views

Comentarios


bottom of page