Hoop house update #2: Warm-season crops

This is just a quick update to let you know that my husband, Bill, and I installed a second door in our hoop house to provide better cross-ventilation.

The new door frame is directly across from the original door. It was getting mighty toasty in the hoop house -- although the plants didn't seem stressed -- and I wanted to make sure bees and other pollinating insects could get to the tomatoes, cucumbers and melons inside.

As soon as the second door frame and door were installed, Bill removed the new door and the original door so we don't have to brace the doors open for the rest of the season. We'll replace the doors as fall approaches.

Directly above is a close-up of one of the 'Napoli' melons growing in the hoop house. They're doing great! And to the left is a peek at some of the cucumber plants. I'm very pleased with how well all of the plants are growing so far.

One thing I wanted to mention is that I'm growing everything with red plastic mulch covering the beds. I've found in past years that it helps increase productivity by about 30%, by increasing the amount of light reflected up into the plants. I have to admit that I initially hesitated putting the plastic mulch in the hoop house beds because I thought that might fry the plants but they're doing just fine.

I've also been concerned that it might not be worth the effort to grow warm-season crops in the hoop house but so far, so good. And who knows? Maybe I'll end up with the first ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and melons on the block!