A greenhouse can be a wonderful addition for any gardener, regardless of whether they are hobbyists or commercial growers. Of the many things to consider in choosing a greenhouse, the cost is always one of the most important. For the hobby gardener or home gardener, a good alternative is to choose a hoop style greenhouse. These simple greenhouses can be assembled very easily, and have many advantages over the more expensive glass ones.
There are commercial hoop style greenhouses on the market, with the curved ribs made of galvanized steel and with prefab ends that have doors and sometimes a ventilating window already in place. However, it is easy for anyone who is at all handy to make their own. The hoops can be made of strong black pvc piping set over supports of rebar driven into the ground, and the covering simply 6 mil poly stretched in place and attached with clips. Plans can easily be found on the internet.
Whatever the choice you make, these inexpensive hoop greenhouses can give a grower an extra 3 to 4 months of growing time. Vegetables and flowers can be started from seed and the young seedlings kept in this protected environment until the weather allows transplanting outside.
Like any greenhouse, hoop greenhouses will protect plants from adverse weather conditions and different crop predators. No more worrying about hard spring rains washing away seeds and flattening young crops or early frosts destroying tomato plants.
With the longer growing seasons, more varieties of plants can be grown in greenhouses. Slower maturing types of vegetables will have the time to mature. Also, with protection from the weather, and some insulation from night time temperatures, semi tropical or tropical plants have a spot to thrive.
As a home gardener you will be saving money, since purchasing vegetables and fruits are less necessary. Also, by specializing in certain crops, you can actually sell at a local farmers market vegetables or herbs that you grow in this protected environment.
There are many reasons why gardeners choose a hoop-style greenhouse. Most growers will recover the cost of building in a single season of planting, especially if they build their own. The framework of galvanized steel hoops or pvc piping is low maintenance, very sturdy and economical. A covering of 6 mil plastic can last for several years, and is quite easy to replace when it is necessary. The shape of the building can handle heavy winds and snow will slide off the curved sides.
Most hoop greenhouses use natural temperature regulation. The sun is the source of warmth. The sides of plastic film sides can be rolled up in summer, and the doors opened to provide cooling and ventilation. The growing season can extended further by adding layers of insulating film and an inflation blower, or even by stacking straw bales around the perimeter.
Hoop greenhouses have enough vertical space for taller plants to grow. By adding purlins or crossbars, it is easy to hang baskets or tie up tomatoes and other plants. There are many reasons why people choose this type of greenhouse. Aside from the multiple benefits that they offer for growing, these greenhouses are very economical, simple to set up, and easy to maintain.