My Videos

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hoop House Report: Overcoming the Elements...

Hello gardening friends!  A hoop house report... SUCCESS!!!!
early this morning before the sunrise

I made some changes to my hoop house last night.  I knew that it was going to be pretty frosty during the night... getting down to the low 20s.

Goal: keep hoop house above freezing...  SUCCESS!!!!
See the silver stuff over the plants?  That's my fishy insulation!

This morning my hoop house was a cozy 42.5 while it was 25 degrees outside!  Wow!!!!

Hoop House Changes...  (oh my gosh... I feel so like EG!)

1. A FB friend of mine suggested that I put non-LED Christmas lights around my plants for added warmth.  So I did!  And boy did my hoop house look festive! : )

2.  Added Fishy Insulation over my plants like a tent... well... this needs some explanation...

So, last week I was to the Pet Store where they were unpacking fish.  Each box had these awesome insulated bags to keep the fish warm.... and... boxes and all were headed to the trash.  I kept thinking gosh I could do something with those insulated bags!

Originally I thought that I would use them in the cold frames that I will be building.  But then last night inspiration struck...  I had an EG moment, I guess!

The bags were shaped like an envelope with a seam running along each side, so I cut along each seam so that they looked like a rectangle.  Then I placed each rectangle (I had two of these fishy bags) as a tent directly over my plants.

3. Lowered the light bulb that was hanging high in the dome to right above the insulation tent.

4. Put the wireless temperature probe thingy inside the tent.

And... success!!!!  There was frost on the inside of the plastic dome... but my plants were nice and cozy (42.5 degrees F) under the fishy insulation blanket while it was 25 degrees outside!

Some pictures:
a peek inside!

cozy cozy!

seedlings growing... swiss chard, arugula, spinach, and beet greens... all happy!


  1. That's fantastic! It's amazing what a light bulb can do for providing heat in a small space...I look forward to your future updates.

  2. Good luck keeping it all live. I always love other people's experiments.

  3. That's genius!! Congrats. PS, love the xmas lights you have in the hoop house. Nice touch.

  4. Wow, that's a lot of thinking. Are you trying to just keep them going for a little bit or for a long time?

  5. Hi Stefaneener! I'm growing micro greens in there!

  6. If you come across a strand of big old-fashioned-style Christmas lights, you'll get a lot more heat from them than the mini lights - just be careful because they do get really hot (I'm guessing we all experienced the hot bulbs as kids...). Keep them away from plants and coverings. Also, you might squeak a tiny more insulating factor from the blankets if you turn them silver side down. It may be a minor amount, but I think the silver will reflect more heat than the white.


I *LOVE* your comments! Thanks for stopping by!