You might recall that my husband Bill and I built a hoop house last October. A hoop house is a plastic-covered greenhouse, which we're primarily using to grow cold-tolerant vegetables through the winter in. Ours is 10 feet wide by 9 feet long and it fits over two of our raised beds.
However, after we built it, I suddenly thought, "well, it doesn't have to just be for winter veggies. Why not use it for growing some heat-loving veggies in the summer, too?"
Last winter, I grew kale, arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, lettuce and corn salad (mache) in it. But my plan quickly became to keep the hoop house in its original location (next to our small greenhouse) and when the winter veggies were done producing, I would plant the two beds with 'Jetstar' tomatoes, and three varieties of melons and cucumbers each.
Late this summer, we would move the hoop house to cover two different raised beds in a different area of our vegetable garden and begin the cycle of growing winter veggies in it once again.
At the time, it seemed like a great idea but recently, reality set in and I realized we would need to move it... NOW! I had remembered that if I had gone with the original plan, when it came time to move the hoop house to the new location, we would have to raise it about 5 feet high to get it over the supports for the tomatoes, melons and cucumbers. Yikes!
Sorry to be rambling on about this but I wanted to give you some background.
So today, we decided to move the hoop house and I was stunned by how easy it was! Bill had done a good job of keeping it fairly lightweight (yet sturdy) during the construction phase last fall.
Just a short distance to move it! (winter bed in foreground)
And boy, am I glad he did. All he had to do was remove the rebar attachments to each side of the base (for wind protection) and then set one end onto a rolling cart. Then he raised the opposite end and had me slowly steer the cart to the new location. It wasn't heavy or awkward at all!
Fortunately, I'd done a good job of selecting two beds that were a straight shot from the original location, just two rows away (photo to right). We accomplished the move in about 3 minutes! Bill has since reattached the rebar rods (which are pounded into the soil) to the frame and now it's all set.
I am so excited about this. Two days ago, I had prepared the two new beds by adding in a lot of compost and some organic fertilizer so they're ready to go. My plan is to plant the tomatoes, melons and cucumbers into the hoop house beds in about 10 to 14 days. I'll let you know how they do.
We'll keep the hoop house in its new location until next spring since we'll be able to grow winter veggies in it this fall. Then it will find itself covering two different beds, since I'm careful about rotating my crops.