I wanted to let you know about a few modifications we've made to our hoop house in the past few days. My husband, Bill, and I felt it needed to be a bit more "buttoned-up" for the winter.
Here's what we've done:
1) We purchased a 4-inch-wide roll of greenhouse repair tape from FarmTek. You'll recall from my original post that we built the front and back walls of the hoop house separately from the main structure. But there were small gaps between the first and last hoops and their respective end walls -- that didn't seem like it would help keep the veggies growing inside warm enough.
So we used the tape (which works great, by the way) to cover that gap as well as a couple of inches of the plastic on either side of the gap. That will make a huge difference.
2) We picked up some weatherstripping to put along the inside edge of the door frame to eliminate some small gaps which were also letting in cold air. It extends past the opening by a little over an inch to stop any drafts. We used a staple gun to anchor it in place.
3) I was concerned about some narrow gaps between the ground and the bottom edge of a few areas of the 2x4 base so we bout 2 bags of fine bark mulch and sprinkled it all the way around the structure, making sure we'd covered any gaps. Hopefully this will be a good solution.
4) Bill decided he would sleep easier during windstorms if he anchored down the hoop house so he bought (4) 24-inch sticks of rebar and pounded 2 of them into the ground on each side of the structure. Then he screwed in some metal clips to secure them in place. After that big windstorm we had the other night -- during which the hoop house did fine, but it was worrisome! -- Bill felt a little extra security would be worth the effort.
I think the hoop house and the veggies growing inside are in good shape now. It's certainly warmer and more humid in there now.
One other thing that might become an issue is I'm wondering if any field mice might burrow inside, which would be a problem. Fortunately, we have one of those wind-up mouse traps that works great so I'm ready to put that to use if need be.
Stay tuned for updates on how my winter vegetable experiment is coming along...