Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hoop Houses for Pumpkin Plants

I put out my hoop houses today to continue to warm the soil before transplanting. My hoop houses are green house like structures that the plants will stay in until late May to keep them warm and protected from the elements. Ideally I would put the plants into their hoop houses on Saturday but the weather is looking to be bad so I am going hold off until Monday evening. My hoop houses have 2x4 wood bases with a 7.75' x 6.5' dimension. I drilled holes into the 2x4s that are big enough to put 10' long pieces of 3/4 inch white irrigation pipe which is bent from hole to hole to create the hoops. I then put plastic (6 mil or thicker plastic is preferable) over the structure to create the green house for the plants. On warm, windless days I will take the hoop house off the plants. On warm days with some wind I will open up the hoop houses to try to keep the temperature between 80-85 degrees and at the same time keep the plants safe. At night I will have a 60 watt bulb in the hoop house to warm it with a brooder over the bulb so that the light doesn't point towards the plants. You want the plants to rest at night so as little light as possible the better.

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