Roll-up sides or no roll-up sides?

PonderGuy(PA - Eastern)August 26, 2005

Just purchased four(4) 14'x 120' hoophouses/coldframes at an auction for $175 each.... These were used in a large nursery for overwintering container stock. I am planning on using for season extension for veggies and flowers. These are qounset shaped (no straight sidewalls).

Does anyone out there add roll-up sides to these for ventilation?

Cheapest source for "wiggle-wire and bases"?

These had a single purlin bolted to the bows. I am considering adding cross-connectors instead of the bolts for added strength.

Hope to have one assembled by the end of Sept.

Any help/suggestions/links would be greatly appreciated.


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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

Wiggle wire and channels I get from Farm-Tek. I personnally would go with roll up sides and modify them, if needed, to be able to roll them up/down with a drill (18V cordless).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 12:48PM
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I am sure a lot of people use the roll-up (or roll-down) sides especially on quonsets that are not being heated. After seeing these on the quonsets and gothic greenhouses in Farm Tek catalog and website I had a lot of questions about these sides and had most of my questions cleared up when I ordered the catalog from Atlas Greenhouse. It had great pictures of these systems, especially showing how the first 4' section on each end was covered and stationary and the roll-up part went over the outside of this to the ends of the greenhouse. And the roll-down sides were cool because they went up under a flange at the top which would add more of a seal. Then they also show the systems that roll from the middle which makes for less cranking motion. But, now that I think about it the Atlas roll-up sidewalls may be designed just for straight sidewalls, but the catalog is worth a look just for the closeup pictures of the walls. I do know that Farm Tek does sell hoophouses with roll-up and they sell the stuff to make your own roll-ups.

Both Farm Tek and Atlas have the wiggle-wire and bases and on some things I think Atlas may have cost less. Both of these catalogs are sent very quickly, so I would order them and have a look.

To order the Atlas catalog:

The Farm Tek site:

This link to Gothic Arch Greenhouses shows a hoophouse with roll-up sidewalls (probably the same ones sold thru Farm Tek). Their website doesn't show prices of the roll-up assemblies but you could contact them and compare their price to the Farm Tek pricing. If you click on the first picture on their main page ("commercial pricing") it brings up a page that mentions their roll-up assemblies:

I just discovered this page (link below) showing the price of Gothic Arch's aluminum base & wiggle wire. Theirs is about $1.50 less per section than Farm Tek and it is longer. A 9' single section at Gothic Arch is $4.98 (Farm Tek is $6.59 for 8'). The stainless wiggle wire at GothicArch is $1.84 (Farm Tek is cheaper at $1.49). So it is worth shopping around.

Hope this helps you find some answers. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiggle Wire & Base

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 1:28PM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

As far as Customer Service, Gothic Arch is top notch, so I don't imagine you could go wrong either way you go.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 2:09PM
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I believe Farm Tek may sell the unit that rolls the walls with your drill. Sounds like a good idea to me. :)

weebus, that is good to know about Gothic Arch customer service . . . thanks.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 2:48PM
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PonderGuy(PA - Eastern)

Thanks for the info...I have both the farmtek and atlas catalogs. I will check them out.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 2:57PM
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Bob_Piper(NE Oklahoma)

I would definitely go with roll-up sides. I am refitting a coldframe with rollups this Fall. FarmTech has a nice catalog, seems like I get one every week, but they definitely do not have the best prices around on many items. I feel you might do better on price by shopping around a bit. i.e. some of their hardware items are available from local places like Lowes.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 1:56PM
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I'm not going to knock Farm Tek but PonderGuy is in the heart of the greenhouse supply centers like PennState Seed Co or Nolt's Greenhouse supply that can give him a better deal and cut shipping costs. The cross-connectors are not only a good and cheap way to add strength, but you can position perlin pipes (from Lowes) at intervals so that you can support tomatoes,etc by string lines. For your rollup sides you will need to buy the rollup kit but I have the wirelock pipe system in the last one I installed and i don't think it is worth the extra money--- I think the regular rollup pipe with the plastic wraped a few times, clipped with the plastic "C" clips and then put a drill screw through the back of the "C" clip into the pipe to keep it secure.I'd also only use the wirelock for top and can get quantity discounts. Single wirelock channel will secure 2 layers of plastic so you can save on width of plastic roll and you'll probably want to replace the roll-up sections of plastic sooner than the top anyhow.

As Webus suggested you can save rollup time by flatening a short piece of pipe and attaching to your 18V cordless drill. My sides have been in up position for months but if a huricane,etc. comes thru you want to drop them down in a hurry.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 9:23AM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

THe wire lock system isn't necessarily having anything to do withthe roll-up sides. With roll-up sides, you wantto over lap the last section of GH so the air doesn't get in. What you do is put in a section of fixed poly, attaching it with the wiggle wire and channels and let the sides roll up and down on the outside of the panel. Also if you get the roll up assemblies at farm tek, they are already modified to accept a drill for rolling up and down. That's why it was recommended to begin with. I don't necessarily like Farm-Tek over something else, and in fact LOVE Gothic Arch GH for their Customer Service, but I just thought for Ponderguy it may be easier to get everything he needed at one place.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 12:17PM
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Bonheur(8b FL)

I just found this great thread. Does anyone have pictures of their roll-up sides on a hoop house? I'm still confused about how they can seal on the bottom (base) and sides. :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 11:02AM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 12:17PM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

OOPS! I had to move them...Here they are.

The 'bolt' that is stick straight towards the viewer, or running North and South, has a flat side to it. We attach a cordless drill to it and it rolls up the sides for us. This Gh is 130' long. The plastic is attached to the pipe. the bottom is NOT secured to the GH, but we do have a cable about every 10-15' running from the top of the roll up side to the bottom of the greenhouse wall, to keep the sides from billowing. The weight of the pipe keeps the sides nicely taut.

This is the plastic rolled onto the pipe. It hangs over a short aluminum knee wall.

Just a little different angle

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 1:00PM
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Sorry I can't upload pics to help Bonheur, but it looks like Weebus relies on weight of the pipe and and a "cable?" to seal his houses. If you want a tight house you need to have a channel lock("C" channel base with solid aluminum bars that clamp the plastic secure) or wire-lock at the base. These lock systems would be positioned near the top of the baseboard so that you can secure the plastic above the rollup pipe. You should have the ends secure the same way by extending a wire-lock base on each end arch all the way to the ground; then when cold weather sets in you can insert the wiggle wire to close the house. This time of year mine is closed and I let the louvres and exhaust fan (thermostatically controled)handle mid-day heat. Otherwise you are rolling up & down all day long as the sun peeks in and out on cool days.

You can get a wire-lock rollup pipe (I have one on one GH)that has the channel formed into the pipe to secure the plastic. I don't think it is worth the money and if you keep the rollup sides from billowing out you likely won't have problems with your plastic unrolling off the rollup pipe. Instead of a cable as weebus mentioned I run a nylon rope thru diagonal eye bolts, starting at the baseboard(end) and then diagonal up and down to near every other arch. The main problem is that when picking with the sides rolled up the rope is always an obstacle to carry crates in and out. Whatever you use it should be tight enough so that it doesn't get caught in the rollingup operation, yet loose enough to allow the same without pinching.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 9:32AM
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We are a seller from Korea of automated motor roll up&down the sidewall of greenhouse

Any interesting parties contact us at

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 2:17AM
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mark_brown(7 NC)

these folks have low xost and good selection of cross connectors

Here is a link that might be useful: jaderloon

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 6:12AM
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Roll up motor for greenhouse
Control pannel for auto rain&temperature control

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 1:10AM
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