I've been browsing various internet sites that describe hoophouses and
am considering giving it a try this autumn. Where do you folks purchase
your plastic covers from? Are they solid sheet plastic or are they woven
(and does it matter)? Are the clear plastic painters tarps in the home
center made of the same material?
The internet sites seem to devote more attention to building the
skeleton with PVC, rebar, etc. than they do to the nature of the covering.
The clear plastic painter tarps are what you need. And clamps from
Territorial Seeds. If you bury the PVC rod one foot either side the
whole assembly will fit nicely over a 4ft wide bed.
The clear plastic, you can buy in 2 mil, 4mil, and 6 mil thickness. I
prefer 4 mil.
Plastic you buy from Home Centers is cheap (affordable) BUT:
I replaced my pvc/rebar hoophouse cover 4(?) times one season, due to
installation issues (ie, not tight enough). I think I was using 6 mil
plastic. It tears out pretty quickly where the plastic has been
Where to get the good stuff:
Northern Greenhouse Sales
Great products, good people. My covering from them cost more than the
cheapo stuff, but it is the heavy duty woven plastic and my (now loose)
cover has lasted 5? seasons with periodic winds 40-80 mph. Like I
said, good stuff.
I cover only Thanksgiving-April 1, but the cheapo stuff, properly
clamped, does take the 60mph winds, the feet of snow, and lasts several
years. To have that kind of breakage (brittleness) you describe you
must have left it on quite a number of weeks in the summer or late
spring (anything with high UV index).
Thanks for the responses. Given that this autumn will be a first-time
experiment on the part of this suburban backyard gardener I probably
won't be able to justify the cost of the professional grade poly.
But.... if the aesthetics and the produce pass muster with the family
and the neighbors then perhaps the better grade of material will become
a future improvement, depending upon how long the cheap stuff actually
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