What to do w/ hoop this year

gardener1908January 22, 2010

Hi everyone. Been very busy for the last few months, so haven't been here in awhile. Will try to catch up.

I need some advice. As some of you may know last year I put up a 32x60ft. hoop and did a small market stand. And while I had some sucess it was a lot of work for one person, although I did have some help from my husband, girls and a friend. This year my husband is back to work (out of state /country)and only gets home every 2-3 wks. Girls are getting older and have activities of their own. There is no way I can take care of the continuning restoration of this house(although I'm almost done)caring for the outside, 5 acres and plant the hoop & the same space outside, and run the roadside stand. At the same time I don't want to just let my hoop sit . I was thinkning of just doing veggie plants & herbs, and I thought of maybe coming up with some patio planters w/ butterfly plants. That way, I would have a big push but then be done by end of May, then just use the hoop and 16 raised beds for personal use. Any thoughts or imput? I hate after waiting for 10 yrs. to get the hoop up to just let it sit, but at the same time I know if I try to do it all, all will fail. What would you do?

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timmylaz(NC zone8)

Not sure as I am just finishing my first hoop house. But, if I felt I needed space to go fallow for a while, cover crop comes to mind.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 2:41PM
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fill it full of wild flowers

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 2:51PM
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We use our greenhouse year-round, even during the winter when we are not growing anything. We throw winter beach parties! When there is snow outside with temps in the low numbers we invite people over and tell them to bring their beach clothes. It's amazing how warm it gets inside . . . and it's humid too, but not too much. As for the growing season . . . plant something!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 2:59PM
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I do want to plant something, just trying to figure out what. Since I don't have heat I think it will be hard to do seedlings to grow plants and have them big enough for sale by mid-May.I thought about starting seeds for cut flowers and just selling them roadside all summmer maybe along with a few veggies, esp. peppers and tomatoes. I don't need to make a lot of money, I just want to keep it going so people get used to me having something at the stand, so when I do have more time I will have built a following. Just looking for ideas and what some of you all are doing.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 10:27AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Why not push really hard with your hoop early and plant cold tolerant things in there and then take the summer off, except for what you want to grow for yourself.


If I had to choose between growing in a hoop building or outside, I would be moving inside. Plant some flowers in the outside beds and fill the hoop. The quality and quantity that you can produce inside makes that an easy decision for me.

Just my thoughts.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 6:28PM
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bagardens (Ohio, Zone 5b)

What if you were to grow lettuces to sell as heads, that is not as much work as cutting leaves. Things like radishes are also easy to grow and harvest. You could also plant varieties that may tolerate the summer heat and things like kale, collards, swiss chard, and beets. All of those are fairly easy to harvest and could be grown and harvested during the summer, I would think as long as your hoop house is vented well, to keep it from getting too hot you would be ok.

You did really well last year when you had your stand open, would be a shame if you didn't sell anything this year. Like tommy said "plant something!" and I would like to add, sell something!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 12:49AM
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Thanks everyone for you imput. I am looking for a propane heater so I can start some seedlings to be able to grow on to sellable size by mid-May. What I would like to do is grow veggie plants and some flowers and sell them. I have an idea for six-pack plants that I have wanted to do for years, but I will need to have the plants at saleable size. I am darn good at getting seeds to transplant size.

bagardens - I did have some of the best lettuces (if I must say so myself) last year. And everyone who came to my stand was so impressed. Easy spring crop.

Jay, I think you are right on target with the idea of hitting it hard in spring and taking it slower during summer. Growing AND harvesting can be time consuming.

I also thought about doing my early spring thing and then opening the hoop and field up to a few friends to do kinda of a csa type of thing.

Wishing you both big sucesses this year!

I just want to do something so I still keep my presence.I will continue to chew on this, please feel free to add any suggestions as they may come to you.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 8:55PM
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