Planning a hoop house
We got hoops! I didn't count, but Uncle Harry said 46 and maybe we can get more as he clears them out (he said 14wide x 135 ft long hoophouses, I don't know if we'll set up a long one like that or maybe do 70-80 so we'll need a few more hoops to do 2 side by side).
Anyway, given these are just over 6ft in the middle (I am 5'2" and couldn't quite reach the center ridge pole, maybe they're 13.5ft diameter b/c I don't think they're 7ft tall) and roughly semi-circular (a couple are bent from snowstorm last year, but they were originally 1 smooth arc), I'm trying to plan out bed(s) for inside, as well as shopping for plastic or fabric to cover.
If it's 14ft diam, that's 44ft wide plastic to cover (plus enough to lay on the ground). What are standard sizes for width and length? Plastic would obviously hold the heat in better but since I don't have irrigation, I would have to take it off (or mostly off) during the summer for rain watering. If shade cloth comes wide enough, would that be better or would it be totally useless for extending the season (anything heavy enough to hold heat in would shade too much)? What if I also used mulch (currently using burlap and hay) to warm the soil first?
Sorry, so much to learn, I have read Eliot Coleman's books (have to buy them) but the lack of irrigation is one of my biggest hurdles (the rocky ledge soil is another so I plan on putting in raised beds, which also limits how high the plants can get, unless we buy new lumber for the sides of the house(s) and make them higher. We already plan on clamping the pipes to the sides, can't dig out 100 holes in our soil to bury the receivers Harry used.).
I have strawberry, blackberry and raspberry plants near the house where I can water them. I was planning on veggies for the hoop house(s), I know early tomatoes would be great sellers, and if I am to keep growing peppers I need to get them in early too (so frustrating to have them coming in Sept, and only getting 2 good-sized bell peppers off each plant!). I am flexible on the bell peppers (though I have to grow some hot peppers for DH), the tomatoes are a must, but any other suggestions for dry farming crops in a hoophouse would be appreciated. I'd love to do melons but don't think I can count of keeping them watered enough. Thanks